National accreditation programmes for hospitals in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Case studies from Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon

Wesam Mansour, Alan Boyd, Kieran Walshe

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BACKGROUND: Many countries use external evaluation programmes such as accreditation in order to improve quality and safety in their healthcare settings. Hospital accreditation has developed in many low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs); however, the implementation and sustainability of these programmes vary in each country. This study addresses design and implementation issues of national hospital accreditation programmes. It identifies factors which may explain why programmes can be implemented successfully in one country but not in another and derives lessons for the design and implementation of national accreditation programmes in poor-resource settings.

METHODS: A multiple case study design was used, comprising three countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 key stakeholders in the three countries and experts from international organisations concerned with accreditation activities in LMICs.

RESULTS: The hospital accreditation programme was successful and sustainable in Jordan but experienced some difficulties in Egypt and Lebanon. The premature end of external funding and devastating political instability after the Arab Spring were problematic for the programmes in Egypt and Lebanon, but continuous funding and strong political will supported the implementation and sustainability of the programme in Jordan.

CONCLUSIONS: LMICs striving to improve their hospitals' performance through accreditation programmes should consider their vulnerability to a scarcity of financial resources and political instability. An important factor underpinning sustainability is recognising that the accreditation programme is an ongoing and developing quality improvement process that needs continuing and careful attention from funders and political systems if it is to survive and thrive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1500-1520
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number5
Early online date5 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021


  • Eastern mediterranean region
  • development
  • hospital accreditation
  • implementation
  • national programmes


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