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Certification

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What Certification is accreditation and certification? Certification is a process by which the Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific care Certification Program evaluates clinical programs and practices across all aspects of health care. Certification is normally accredited to all medical organizations that are accredited by the Joint Commission for all chronic diseases and conditions. The certification program ensures that the respective organization meets compliance requirements with the consensus-based national standards and that the organizations pursue effective use of evidence-based guidelines in managing and optimizing care. Accreditation on the other hand is the process by which the Joint Commission seeks to ensure that the operational systems in the respective medical organizations meet the safety and quality requirements for effective patient care. The process ensures that the actual health care processes as conducted in the medical institutions meet the basic requirements to offer their services to patients (JCAHO, 2011).   

What is the difference between accreditation and certification?

There are clear differences between accreditation and certification. To be accorded accreditation, care organizations are subjected to a thorough on-site survey by a Joint Commission team as opposed to certification which only evaluates medical pograms. Accreditation surveys are repeated every three years and seek to evaluate the organizations and provide resourceful education and guidance to help the staff improve their organization’s performance. It is the survey findings that determine if an organization is fit for accreditation or not (JCAHO, 2011). Specifically, accreditation has the following key features which distinguish it from certification;

1. Accreditation remains voluntary, with the deemed status review an option, not a requirement.

2. CMS retains the authority to conduct random validation surveys and complaint investigations.

3. Ambulatory surgical centers also may be required to meet state licensure requirements.

4. CMS requires that all accreditation surveys used for deemed status purposes be unannounced.

What are the benefits of accreditation?

The following are the main benefits of accreditation

1. It helps demonstrates a commitment to the highest level of patient safety and patient care.

2. It eases access to managed care contracts and encourages patient referrals.

3. It serves as the nationally acknowledged benchmark of quality.

4. It increases the competitive edge health care institutions.

5. It serves to provide a constructive educational opportunity.

6. Enables experienced surveyors to offer valuable insighhts and compliance tips.

7. Through accreditation, dedicated account executives are able to offer organization-specific services.

8. It enhances ability of organizations to attract and recruit quality staff.

What are the benefits of Joint Commission certification?

Certification is important for the following reasons:

1. It demonstrates commitment to a higher standard of service

2. Provides a framework for organizational structure and management

3. Provides a competitive edge in the marketplace

4. Enhances staff recruitment and development

5. It enables organizations to seek insurance claims

How can undergoing the accreditation process improve quality at a healthcare facility? Health care institutions that are accorded accreditation improve the quality of their healthcare services in the following manner

1. The accreditation provides staff with necessary education and guidance required for improved practice;

2. Helps make recommendations on weak areas that have to be addressed in respect of management, practices and application of medical procedures;

3. Accreditation facilitates access to professionally managed health care services and encourages patient referrals;

4. It enhances the ability of organizations to recruit and maintain a highly qualified staff.

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