As if dealing with all the challenges and obstacles created by a worldwide pandemic wasn’t enough, the Bert Nash Center has been going through an arduous accreditation process at the same time.
The Center is working with a third-party accrediting body CARF — the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
“It’s not an easy thing to become accredited. This is a big deal,” said Marissa Boyle, Organizational Excellence Coordinator, who along with Amy Finkeldei, Director of Performance and Quality Improvement, are leading the Center’s accreditation efforts. “When you are accredited by CARF it means you are meeting all those expectations for the highest standards of care. It holds us accountable to the highest standards.”
Accreditation is a multi-year process.
“We started conversations about the accreditation process just prior to the pandemic,” Amy said. “We put things on hold for several weeks while we adjusted to providing telehealth services. Then we decided, despite the pandemic, we didn’t want to lose the momentum we had started to become a CARF accredited organization. So, we picked up where we left off and moved forward.”
As part of the accreditation process, the Center appointed what are called champions, in CARF terminology. They are sort of staff cheerleaders who are experts within their own teams and who help champion the accreditation efforts.
A virtual survey with CARF surveyors will be done in July. Surveyors are professionals who have gone through the CARF accreditation process in related fields. During the survey, they will meet with the champions, other Bert Nash Center team members, board members, clients, and community stakeholders. Accreditation can be granted for up to three years, then there is a renewal process.
“It’s like a professional license,” Marissa said. “You have it for a period and then you have to renew.”
Becoming accredited is part of the Bert Nash Center’s Integrated, Cultural, Accessibility and Strategic Plan, which includes five pillars: Service Excellence, Excellence with People, Excellence in Quality, Financial Excellence and Growth.
“Accreditation is client and staff focused,” Amy said. “It will make us better because it moves us to the next level in our quality of care.”