Standards Development in a National Accreditation System for Oman: The right step for now

Van Kemenade, E.A. & Al-Salmani, N.
Andoornstraat,8, Nuenen, Netherlands


Introduction: Healthcare services in Oman have been given full attention by his Majesty Sultan Qaboos as one of the priorities of his government since 1970. Health institutions have been built to provide the healthcare services at all levels; primary, secondary, and tertiary care. The rapid expansion of the health care sector and the demand for health care services in a country like Oman require a quality management system that fits the country’s context and culture and ensures quality and safety of the services provided. A health insurance policy was introduced recently; it covers the non-Omani and tourists as first step, but it will also be mandatory for Omani citizens. According to the policy, each hospital that wishes to enrol in health insurance must be accredited. The aim of this article is to explain the development process of national hospitals’ accreditation standards as the first step towards establishing the national accreditation system in the sultanate of Oman that fits in the Omani context and discuss the steps taken. Literature review: An exploratory literature review was executed by berry picking in Google Scholar on Islamic national accreditation standards. Included were full text, 2010-2020. Six articles were selected based on its appropriateness for this research.
Research methodology or Approach: This article is a case study. A desk research has been executed. The narrative has been designed by an insider of the process and an outsider. The Al Salmani Islamic Work Ethic have been used to analyses the developed national standards and the development process. The developed standards have been compared to the standards from the Joint Commission International and the Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions. The development process has been matched to the Omani political situation. Findings: The project led to 9 chapters of standards. These are comparable to what has been designed everywhere else in the world. The unanimity of standards worldwide was an unexpected outcome.
Conclusions: There are several lessons that can be learned from the Omani accreditation system development process. Firstly, the leadership were committed. Secondly, it was an opportunity for Capacity Building of the employees. Thirdly, integrative relationship between stakeholders was crucial: the collaboration between different stakeholders and working as one team produced a good and useful set of standards fit for actual use in the Omani context. It is still a question to what extent standards as such need to be specified to the Islamic context. This was not the case in Omani, nor in many other Islamic countries. However, the IWE’s can be discerned in the development process.

Keywords: accreditation, quality standards’ development, complexity, context, Oman.

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Van Kemenade, E.A. & Al-Salmani, N. (2021). Standards development in a National Accreditation System for Oman: the right step for now. International Journal of Research in Business, Economics and Management, 5(4), 55-73.

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