Overall the views upon the effect of IHEAP on the hospitals were optimistic.
On average nearly 50% of respondents overall believed that the advantages were 'to a large degree' present in IHEAP in comparison with only 19% arguing that the benefits 'to a small degree' existed.
In some virtues such as 'tangible cost reduction' and 'raised staff satisfaction and morale' greater percentage opposed to these advantages to be generated by IHEAP, while approximately 10% did not consider such an effect.
However, majority of respondents (49%) believed IHEAP only 'moderately' improved staff morale and 29% even undervalued this effect to a 'small extent'.
Two weaknesses stood out in relation to IHEAP with 'over-reliance on the value judgment of the program's surveyors' on rating the hospitals', and 'routinization and bureaucratization' receiving nearly 45% of the views, as opposed to only one-fifth denying such a shortcoming.
Although this is a positive point, possible justification for their less existence in IHEAP could be because a large proportion of the program's standards and requirements were related to the hospitals' physical and non-clinical elements and processes (41).
The distribution of the views on the disadvantage 'discouraging hospitals by IHEAP from more efforts following an unsatisfactory rank' was somewhat balanced, in a way that no conclusion can be made on whether this program could give rise to such a downside.
A future qualitative research could explore the reasons behind these attitudes and expression of hospitals towards IHEAP.
There are three main strengths of this research: 1) it identifies main advantages and disadvantages of an accreditation and evaluation program in generic terms; 2) it offers a perceptual evaluation of IHEAP performance, which could be utilised as a method for performance assessment of similar PMSs; and 3) the pros and cons of IHEAP are ranked based on their occurrence.
IHEAP assessment results could be also considered whenever any new external evaluation programs for the hospitals are to be developed.
IHEAP could be welcomed by hospitals when it is modified based on their feedback.