Accreditation is an official recognition of the presence in a medical institution of conditions for the provision of medical care. This program includes services at a level that allows organizations to be attributed to a category of a medical institution determined by the standard. Accreditation aims to incentivize organizations and medical institutions to improve service delivery. There are many non-profit organizations that provide accreditation to healthcare facilities, including The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
The emergence and history of both committees go back to the second half of the 20th century. Initially, CARF International began its work in 1966 and was opened on the basis of cooperation between two national organizations, the Association of Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) and the National Association of Sheltered Workshops and Homebound Programs (NASWHP). Their original purpose was to develop standards for the members of their organizations, which they did successfully for ten years. Currently, CARF is the largest non-profit organization providing its services in the international arena and setting itself the goal of improving the quality of medical organizations.
The Joint Commission was originally established in 1951 and registered as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Prior to this, the organization functioned as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH). First of all, the commission’s main goal when it was created was to standardize hospitals and conduct health care reforms. Today, the committee runs accreditation programs for tens of thousands of institutions across the United States.
JCI and CARF are authoritative bodies for voluntary accreditation of medical organizations for compliance with the requirements of quality and safety standards of medical activity, registered with the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). In addition, a number of countries have adopted a state policy of mandatory accreditation of medical organizations. These countries request accreditation organizations that meet international standards in accordance with JCI. Requirements for organizations can be found on the official websites of both committees. However, most developed countries independently develop national standards for the quality and safety of medical activities. Thus, accreditation for compliance with JCI standards confirms the recognition of the leadership of a medical organization at the international level, which allows it to more successfully implement the direction of medical tourism.
Additionally, organizations provide performance reporting for public viewing, which is necessary in order to show the effectiveness of accreditation and the successful work of medical care authorities. Thus, potential accreditation clients can see the system’s transparent operation. The preparation and passing of accreditation by a medical organization, according to JCI standards, takes about 24 months (About Us, n.d.). Such a lengthy process is due to the fact that during the accreditation, a medical organization must demonstrate patient safety indicators for at least the last two years. In addition, during accreditation, inspectors must make sure that a medical organization has a so-called safety culture. Finally, CARF focuses on supplier commitment and commitment to continuous improvement (Accreditation, n.d.). As a rule, the program takes three years and the final stage is an external audit confirming the compliance of the supplier with the required international standards.
About Us. (n.d.). The Joint Commission. Web.
Accreditation. (n.d.). CARF International. Web.