Maintaining the accreditation status of a healthcare facility is possible through the continuous review of the quality of services that the organization provides to patients. As mentioned in the article by Alkhenizan and Shaw, accreditation refers to a voluntary program in which external peer reviewers evaluate the performance of an organization in terms of compliance and compare it with the already established performance standards. In general, accreditation programs improve the procedures within an organization in terms of caring for the unique needs of patients. There is also considerable evidence showing that accreditation programs positively influence the clinical outcomes within a wide variety of clinical conditions. Therefore, applications that are focused on accreditation should be supported as tools for improving the quality of healthcare services.
To maintain accreditation and use it as a tool for improving the quality of patient care, there are several important recommendations that nurse managers can implement. First, it is imperative to place a focus on patient safety and regularly review the efforts targeted at ensuring safety. The evidence-based approach represents the way in which organizations can integrate best practices into the care process and improve patient health. Second, decreasing costs is necessary in order to provide resources and training to nurses whose responsibility is caring for patients every day. Effective cost distribution and management are likely to result in improved risk prevention strategies that result from being accredited. Nurse managers are, therefore, responsible for determining the areas in which costs can be reduced and use the newly-acquired resources for the most critical aspects of the care process.
Third, solidifying the position of a healthcare organization within a specific community can significantly influence the prolonged maintenance of accreditation. When a hospital provides high-quality care, is trustworthy, and gives back to the community, it is more likely to maintain accreditation because of the positive image that its patients have of the facility. The role of a nurse manager is teaching nurses to establish reciprocal relationships with patients in order to enhance the latter’s’ experiences and encourage them to engage in a conversation about quality improvement. According to Ryan, Kinghorn, Entwistle, and Francis (2014), nursing leaders should use patients’ experience as a method for guiding the focus and the scope of inquiry. Using both negative and positive experiences of patients from the local community as tools for improvement, nurse managers can facilitate better connections with local groups and thus create a favorable organization position.
Finally, the maintenance of accreditation is associated with ensuring that a healthcare organization has access to a broad sector of tools and resources that facilitate patient care. These resources are not limited to equipment and educational resources that nurses have but also include devices that patients can use in order to receive the highest quality of care. As mentioned by Bhatt and Bathija, ensuring access to quality care for vulnerable groups is a responsibility that nurse managers should undertake. This responsibility ties in with fostering close and trusting relationships with local communities, which shows that the process of maintaining accreditation is complex and multi-dimensional. Overall, nurse managers are expected to implement a wide variety of steps in order to maintain certification, and positive connections with the community being the most important aspect.