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What GPs do to meet accreditation standards – implementation activities and perceived improvements attributed to general practice accreditation

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Background: Healthcare accreditation is a widely implemented tool used to enhance the quality of care and underpin quality control. However, research is sparse on the accreditation process in general practice. The aim of this study was to explore how team-based implementation activities preceding accreditation were associated with self-perceived improvements in emergency preparedness (preparedness for urgent disease and cardiac arrest) and handling of prescription renewals in Danish general practice. Methods: GPs (general practitioners) completed a questionnaire exploring practice-team activities conducted to implement two specific accreditation standards and the related improvements as perceived by the GPs. The following implementation activities were selected, inspired by Normalization Process Theory: Common understanding (obtaining a common understanding of the purpose of implementing changes according to the accreditation standard), key person (assigning a key person responsible for working with the standard), and easy integration (finding it easy to integrate changes into existing working procedures). Data were analysed with logistic regression, and adjusted analyses included practice type, number of GP partners, number of staff, training site for junior GPs and administrative region. Results: The total response rate was 74% (n = 920). Around 80% of the clinics reported having conducted team-based implementation activities. Almost half of the clinics (48%) reported perceived improvements in the emergency preparedness, and 30% reported perceived improvements in the handling of prescription renewals. Obtaining a common understanding was found to have a strong, significant association with perceived improvements in the emergency preparedness (OR = 5.07 (3.06–8.40)) and handling of prescription renewals (OR = 3.66 (2.07–6.46)). Easy integration of changes was also significantly associated with improvements in both emergency preparedness (OR = 1.88 (1.24–2.85)) and handling of prescription renewals (OR = 2.34 (1.44–3.79)), whereas assigning a key person was only significantly associated with improved emergency preparedness (OR = 1.95 (1.19–3.19)). Conclusion: Clinical quality initiatives that involve collaboration within a practice team are more likely to cause improvements if specific team-based implementation activities are conducted. It is particularly important to facilitate a common understanding of the purpose of the initiative. Therefore, external support for quality initiatives aiming at the practice level in general practice should facilitate such team-based activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265
JournalBMC Primary Care
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Accreditation, Cross-sectional studies, Denmark, Emergency treatment, General practitioners, Implementation science, Normalization process theory, Prescriptions, Primary care, Quality improvement

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