Medical clinician surveyors in the hospital accreditation process: their motivations for participating, the factors that influence them and how they deal with those influences

Download files
Access & Terms of Use
open access
Copyright: Low, Lena
This thesis examines the role of medical clinician surveyors (MC surveyors) working in the hospital-based health care accreditation arena. The thesis examines their motivations for participating in accreditation, the issues that influence them during the survey process, and the ways in which they deal with the influences to facilitate a reliable and credible survey outcome. The study is an evidence-based examination of MC surveyors working for the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), the dominant accreditation agency for public and private hospitals in Australia. There is limited research and empirical evidence as to the benefits of accreditation and improved service quality, despite the significance of accreditation for hospitals and the resources expended on it. The research consisted of three distinct stages: a questionnaire which examined the motivations for MC surveyors participating in accreditation; interviews which looked at the scale and scope of influences on MC surveyors during the accreditation survey process; and a case study approach which assessed how MCs and other surveyors dealt with the influences. The large amount of data generated was analysed utilising a range of social science methods. The findings corroborate and augment past research into the motivations for MC surveyors participating in accreditation, and extend existing knowledge considerably. These motivations included participants perceptions that accreditation facilitated improvement of quality in the health system and within their own organisation, and provided an external perspective and the opportunity to benchmark and share ideas. Furthermore, participants considered accreditation assisted in their professional development, supported professional networking, augmented their prestige, and increased their influence and respect whilst being an enjoyable experience. The research identified fourteen interrelated factors that influence the survey process and potentially, the accreditation outcome. It found that MC surveyors were acutely aware of the need to be objective in their surveying and furthermore were conscious of the difficulty in attaining objectivity. It also provided evidence supporting MC involvement in the accreditation process and reported a positive view of accreditation. In addition, it highlighted the characteristics of the accreditation process that MC surveyors consider benefits health care as well as leading to a more reliable and credible accreditation outcome.
Persistent link to this record
Link to Publisher Version
Link to Open Access Version
Additional Link
Low, Lena
Braithwaite, Jeffrey
Conference Proceedings Editor(s)
Other Contributor(s)
Corporate/Industry Contributor(s)
Publication Year
Resource Type
Degree Type
PhD Doctorate
UNSW Faculty
download whole.pdf 5.27 MB Adobe Portable Document Format
Related dataset(s)