Comparative analysis of the accreditation of medical facilities in Canada, Chile, the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Denmark, and Mexico

Poblano Verástegui et al.


To compare and contrast the characteristics of the accreditation process for health care facilities in Canada, Chile, the Autonomous Community of Andalusia (Spain), Denmark, and Mexico, in order to identify shared characteristics, differences, and lessons learned that may be useful for other countries and regions.


An observational, analytical, retrospective study using open-access secondary sources on the accreditation and certification of health care facilities in 2019–2021 in these countries and regions. The general characteristics of the accreditation processes are described and comments are made on key aspects of the design of these programs. Additionally, analytical categories were created for degree of implementation and level of complexity, and the positive and negative results reported are summarized.


The operational components of the accreditation processes are country-specific, although they share similarities. The Canadian program is the only one that involves some form of responsive evaluation. There is a wide range in the percentage of establishments accredited from country to country (from 1% in Mexico to 34.7% in Denmark). Notable lessons learned include the complexity of application in a mixed public-private system (Chile), the risk of excessive bureaucratization (Denmark), and the need for clear incentives (Mexico).


The accreditation programs operate in a unique way in each country and region, achieve varying degrees of implementation, and have an assortment of problems, from which lessons can be learned. Elements that hinder their implementation should be considered and adjustments made for the health systems of each country and region.

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