Hospital accreditation and HRM: a likely pair?

03 July, 2014

In 2013, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported more than one quarter of a million full-time equivalent persons to be employed in Australia's public hospitals.

As the most resource-intensive element of the healthcare system (with about 62 per cent of recurrent expenditure), the sector is under constant pressure to implement organisational change that delivers further efficiencies and effectiveness.

A team of Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) and University of New South Wales (NSW) researchers is in the final year of a three year Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant with independent not-for-profit accreditation and training funding partner, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), to develop a body of evidence around the contribution that human resource management (HRM) makes to clinical health effectiveness and performance.

Project partner, ACHS, has an important role in systematically assessing Australian hospitals' implementation of accreditation processes, and although necessary for the majority, they are still expensive and time consuming for organisations to participate in.
But the research team are closing in on reasons why accreditation is important. They have developed a model which groups otherwise individually-assessed HRM systems within the accreditation process as they interact, to look, in particular, at how health sector accreditation and clinical performance assessment criteria work together to predict positive change in clinical performance over time.