This blog has criticised the accreditation movement for the lack of evidence to support its claims. The rise of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) has not enabled healthcare professionals to spot the seriousness of accreditation’s shortcomings.
In an excellent essay in the BMJ, Greenhalgh and colleagues critique EBM. Actually, EBM has many of the same problems as ISO management accreditation!
- Quality from other sources has been claimed as a mark of the inspection cartel.
- The volume of paperwork and triple-checking has created an unmanageable increase that now makes up around a third of the workload.
- Statistically significant benefits of accreditation have not been shown and are unlikely.
- Inflexibility of SOPs created to enable inspection interferes with professional actions.
- SOPs fail to be able to deal with complex and unexpected situations.
The authors make proposals for how real EBM might be achieved. As you read the essay, try substituting “ISO accreditation” where you read “EBM”. For many of the authors’ points, it makes similar sense. Readers’ comments largely agree with the criticisms.