Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 27–32 | Cite as

A program of professional accreditation of hospital wards by the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI): self- versus peer-evaluation

  • Massimo VanoliEmail author
  • Giancarlo Traisci
  • Alberto Franchini
  • Gianpiero Benetti
  • Pietro Serra
  • Maria Alice Monti


The Italian Society of Internal Medicine has developed a voluntary program of professional accreditation of the medical units run by its constituency. Participation in the program, which is meant to foster staff involvement in clinical governance, includes all the medical personnel and nurses. Accreditation is awarded provided the candidate unit is able to adhere to a pre-established set of quality standards, meet a number of clinical and organizational requirements and monitor specific indicators. Self-evaluation is the first step in the program, followed by a site visit by a team of peer internists experienced in quality auditing. The program, which has involved so far 19 units, has considered a number of clinical requirements related to the three most frequent diseases in Italian internal medicine wards: chronic heart failure (CHF), exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hepatic cirrhosis with ascites (HCA). The comparison between self- and peer-evaluation witnessed less discrepancies for disease-related than for organizational requirements, the latter being met to a smaller degree by most units. In particular, concordance was higher for requirements and indicators pertaining to CHF and HCA than to COPD. This program of professional accreditation developed by the Italian Society of Internal Medicine has the potential to describe, monitor and improve clinical and organizational performances in internal medicine. It should also be seen as a contribution to implement the strategy of professional governance in hospitals.


Professional accreditation Quality of care Quality indicator(s) Standard(s) 



The authors are indebted to Professor Pier Mannuccio Mannucci who devised and launched this program when he was President of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine. Professor Giuseppe Licata continued to support enthusiastically this program during his term of office. Professor Francesco Violi, current President, is actively engaged in the implementation of the program.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© SIMI 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimo Vanoli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giancarlo Traisci
    • 2
  • Alberto Franchini
    • 3
  • Gianpiero Benetti
    • 4
  • Pietro Serra
    • 5
  • Maria Alice Monti
    • 6
  1. 1.Internal Medicine Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera della Provincia di LeccoMerate (LC)Italy
  2. 2.Internal Medicine UnitHospital of PescaraPescaraItaly
  3. 3.NecstepModenaItaly
  4. 4.Internal Medicine UnitMelegnano (MI)Italy
  5. 5.Internal Medicine Unit IIIUniversity SapienzaRomeItaly
  6. 6.Department of Internal Medicine, IRCCS Ca’ Granda PoliclinicoMilanItaly

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