All healthcare centres in the capital emirate are audited by the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (Haad) at least once a year to ensure they follow regulations.
There are 23 auditors and teams conduct different types of audits, including unannounced visits and those that target a particular clinic or quality issue, such as waiting time.
"Once the audit has been completed, the facility will receive a detailed report with the findings from the audit team," said Erik Korneef, the health audit department manager at Haad. "Depending on the level of compliance, Haad may take a number of steps."
These include ordering the centre to improve its performance, followed by another audit to ensure it does.
As of last month, Haad had this year conducted 1,350 audits in hospitals and clinics, uncovering 40 violations. It also conducted 1,376 audits in pharmacies, finding 21 violations.
They include breaches that could have a "detrimental effect on the safety of patients or members of the public", and failure to comply with provisions of the law.
Evidence is gathered by a Haad judicial officer by observations, interviews, data and document reviews.
Findings are communicated directly to the centres, Mr Korneef said.
Policies introduced this year prohibit offering health services in buildings that do not follow design standards set by the authority.
"Historically, a number of healthcare services have been delivered in buildings that were originally designed as residential property," Mr Korneef said. "The new Haad standards and building guidelines set out strict regulatory requirements for newly built hospitals and clinics."
* Manal Ismail