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Surveyors’ perceptions of the impact of accreditation on patient safety in general practice

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To the Editor: Finally! Abou Elnour and colleagues have done something different and looked at accreditation in general practice from the perspective of the surveyors.1 Previous studies have solely focused on accreditation as a process and how it improves patient safety in the acute health care setting.2

Sure, the sample size was meagre, with only 10 Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited surveyors taking part, but between them, they had accredited 2022 general practices over 15 years.1 As a health care consumer, I was horrified to discover that only 80% of Australian general practices have opted to become accredited.3 This is especially disturbing when “errors and harms” have been well documented in general practices1,4 and we know that the accreditation process improves patient safety.1,2

Abou Elnour et al highlighted that clinical risk management of patient safety is poorly done throughout general practices in Australia.1 It was alarming to realise that my first port of call when unwell may not have a process or structure to effectively…