Five Alberta family practices were the first of their kind to pursue Accreditation Canada's Primary Care Accreditation in 2013–2015. This study examines the impact of accreditation as a quality improvement (QI) strategy for community-based/fee-for-service family practices. Pre-/post-accreditation data received on clinic compliance with accreditation standards, provider-reported work-life and patients' self-rated health status/care show massive improvement in accreditation-rated compliance scores, which were disproportional to provider-/patient-rated changes. A Donabedian-inspired explanation states that accreditation measures predominantly structures, whereas survey-sought provider/patient perspectives focus on process and outcomes. Costs and human resources burdens aside, clinics saw benefits in accreditation-incented QI initiatives and formal recognition of clinic excellence, albeit antecedent.
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