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Quality improvement in allied healthcare: Key recommendations for educational institutions

Version 2 2024-04-17, 06:15
Version 1 2023-12-06, 06:32
journal contribution
revised on 2024-04-17, 06:14 and posted on 2024-04-17, 06:15 authored by Jithin Kalathikudiyil SreedharanJithin Kalathikudiyil Sreedharan, Saad Mohammed AlRabeeah, Arun Vijay Subbarayalu, Edan M. AlZahrani, Jaber Saud AlQahtani, Mohammed Dafer AlAhmari, Abdullah Saeed AlQahtani, Musallam AlNasser, Amal AlSomali, Asma Falah AlHarbi, Yaser AlNaam, Ibrahim A. AlBalawi, Hussam M. AlMarkhan, Ali Hakamy, Ahmed Mansour Alrajeh

Allied Healthcare encompasses various professions involved in diagnosing, evaluating, and preventing diseases and disorders. Allied Healthcare Institutes (AHIs) provide education and training in these professions. However, there is currently a lack of explicit guidelines for ensuring quality excellence in AHIs. This narrative review aims to address this gap by examining existing literature on quality assurance in AHIs and proposing a conceptual framework that outlines essential components for establishing a high-quality AHI. A comprehensive search of PubMed and Google Scholar electronic databases yielded 86 relevant articles, which were analyzed and grouped into Nine themes related to the study's objectives. These themes include leadership in AHIs, student selection and support, teaching quality, curriculum development, research opportunities, stakeholder involvement, quality improvement initiatives, the impact of accreditation/certification, and physical facilities. Based on the review, the study presents 33 carefully formulated recommendations. By implementing these guidelines, policymakers and those interested in establishing AHIs can create institutions that promote the acquisition of new knowledge and skills, foster research and development, and provide excellent educational resources.

Other Information

Published in: Informatics in Medicine Unlocked
See article on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • University of Doha for Science and Technology
  • College of Health Sciences - UDST


2.1. Search strategy This study provides a narrative overview of the literature on quality assurance in AHIs, outlining its key components and providing recommendations for each to support the establishment of an AHI. The research was carried out by searching electronic databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar. The search was conducted using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) through Boolean operators to expand and refine the results. The search terms used through the Boolean operators were (((("Allied health professionals"[Title/Abstract]) OR (“Guidelines” [Title/Abstract])) OR (“Quality”[Title/Abstract])) OR (“Quality improvement"[Title/Abstract])) OR (“Quality assurance"[Title/Abstract]) to broaden and narrow the search. Literature was selected using the following inclusion criteria: All categories of literary sources including original articles, reviews, and other relevant content focusing on quality improvement initiatives on AHI and healthcare facility accreditation published between the year 2020 and 2022, as well as such studies and literature published only in English language included. In addition, the authors referred media reports, government reports and key websites such as WHO ( y_accreditation.pdf); NABH (, ACHC (https:// Other quality web links were also referenced: ISO and healthcare quality: hstandards/index.html; National health system resource center India: e-standards/MjM3; Agency for healthcare research and quality: bx/understand/index.html; NICE quality standards: https://www.idsihe 314.pdf; IBM, quality measures in healthcare: /topics/quality-measures-healthcare; World federation for medical education:; CMS quality safety & oversight: ion/CertificationandComplianc; JCI goals; Quality standards: https://; NICE: https://www.; andservices/NCAAA/Accreditation/Pages/StepsofAccreditation.aspx. This review excluded those works not written in English and published before or after the period specified in the inclusion criteria. Therefore, the authors conducted this review using the above electronic databases and websites, using key search terms such as ‘allied health professionals’, ‘guidelines’, ‘quality’ or ‘quality improvement’, ‘quality assurance’ to capture the relevant literature. 2.2. Data Extraction During the review, the publications were screened in two phases according to the principles of narrative reviews. In the first phase, the authors independently checked the title and abstract of the incorporated articles and reports and classified them as related or irrelevant. In this phase, the authors identified relevant information and assessed validity shift through the abstracts, and then relevant full-text articles were retrieved. In the second phase, all related work was checked for eligibility. The authors used the inclusion and exclusion criteria to shortlist and extract information from eligible articles. The authors reviewed the relevant full-text articles and assigned the information to different sections. The practical recommendations presented in this study were developed through a collaborative process involving input from experts in the field. The experts involved in the development of these recommendations were academicians with extensive experience in allied healthcare education, research, and scholarly publications related to quality assurance. They possessed significant expertise in the relevant f ield, ensuring a comprehensive and informed approach to the recommendations. While the specific details regarding the selection process of these experts and any conflicts of interest were not explicitly mentioned in the study, their qualifications and expertise were taken into consideration to provide valuable insights and recommendations. Despite voting and if no agreement was reached, the principal author independently assessed any differences and reached agreement. In addition, the review also includes additional suggestions from experts with practical knowledge and prior experience in developing recommendations.

Related Publications

1. Sreedharan JK, Subbarayalu AV, AlRabeeah SM, Karthika M, Shevade M, Al Nasser MA, Alqahtani AS. Quality assurance in allied healthcare education: A narrative review. Can J Respir Ther. 2022 Jul 26;58:103-110. doi: 10.29390/cjrt-2022-009. PMID: 35928236; PMCID: PMC9318339. 2. Sreedharan JK, krishna GG, Jose AM, et al. Evidence-based Practice and Quality Improvement in Allied Healthcare Education. Indian J Respir Care 2023;12(1):83–89.