Review | Volume 18: 63 | 27 Oct 2023

Impacts of accreditation on the performance of primary health care centres: A systematic review


Introduction: Evidence on the impacts of accreditation on primary health care (PHC) services is inconsistent. Thus, this study aimed to assess the impacts of accreditation on the performance of PHC centres.
Methods: This study systematically reviewed articles published from 2000 to 2019 in the Web of Science, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Springer, PubMed and ProQuest. The following keywords were used: ((primary care OR primary health care) AND (accreditation) AND (impact OR effect OR output OR outcome OR influence OR result OR consequences)). The database search yielded a total of 41256 articles, among which 30 articles were finally included in the review.
Results: Accreditation showed the most positive impacts on the quality, effectiveness, human resource management and strategic management of PHC services. Accreditation also positively affected safety, responsiveness, accessibility, customer satisfaction, documentation, leadership, efficiency and continuity of care. Few negative impacts were noted, including the possibility of accreditation being used as a bureaucratic tool, high cost of acquiring accreditation, difficulties in understanding the accreditation process, high staff turnover rate in accredited PHC centres and weak sustainability of some accreditation programmes.
Conclusion: Given its numerous positive impacts, accreditation could be used to effectively improve the performance of PHC centres.