Healthcare Accreditation Matters: Tips for Finding a Great Medical Facility
In the healthcare industry, accreditation is very important, because it provides external validation that a medical facility meets regulatory requirements and standards.
Every medical facility is different, so how can patients determine where they’ll get the best care? In the healthcare industry, accreditation is very important, because it provides external validation that a facility meets regulatory requirements and standards governing the delivery of healthcare. While being accredited does not guarantee the quality of a healthcare organization, it is one piece of the puzzle.
Accredited medical facilities have demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality and safety of patient care. Here are five well-respected healthcare accrediting organizations:
- The Joint Commission. Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is the oldest and largest accrediting organization in the United States. An independent nonprofit organization, it accredits and certifies over 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs. Accredited organizations earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. Most states require hospitals to be accredited in order to receive reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid. In addition to accrediting hospitals, the Joint Commission accredits nursing homes, doctor’s offices, home care organizations, behavioral health treatment facilities, and some types of surgery centers.
- Accreditation Commission for Health Care. The ACHC takes a collaborative, educational approach to accreditation. It offers nine programs, created in consultation with industry experts, for hospitals and other healthcare facilities, including home health care and occupational and speech therapy programs.
- Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The CARF is an international nonprofit organization that accredits addiction and substance abuse treatment facilities, disability rehabilitation organizations, home and community services, and retirement facilities.
- American Nurses Credentialing Center. This ANCC provides the Magnet Recognition, which is the “highest and most prestigious distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care.” In the United States, only 8% of hospitals have this designation. Independent research shows that hospitals with Magnet accreditation have improved patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes, compared to hospitals without this accreditation.
- Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. This organization sets the standards for residency and fellowship programs in the United States. In doing so, it “sets and monitors the professional educational standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care to all Americans.”
For help finding an accredited hospital or medical facility, contact an expert health advisor. There are many accrediting organizations out there, and experienced health advisors can wade through the propaganda and marketing to critically evaluate these agencies to determine which facilities provide the best care.