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Healthcare Acronym: CARF - Commission on Acceditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), which includes several international organizations, is a nonprofit accreditation provider for healthcare services. CARF helps healthcare service providers to meet international industry standards as well as improve the quality of all services rendered. Accreditation through CARF is an ongoing process, meaning that the healthcare providers involved pledge to encourage feedback from consumers, serve the local community, and continuously improve their offered services. CARF accreditation also means that providers have agreed to appropriately manage risk.

Founded in 1966, CARF offers accreditation in these areas: opioid treatment programs, employment and community services, medical rehabilitation, vision rehabilitation, DMEPOS (Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies), business and services management networks, behavioral health, child and youth services, and aging services. At present, CARF accreditation is in practice in 18 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. CARF itself is overseen by a board of eleven elected members who manage the development of industry standards, financial holdings, the accreditation process, and the direction of CARF as an organization.

CARF accreditation begins with health service providers committing to improve their services, along with an agreement that their facilities will be up for periodic independent review. All facilities, services, and personnel conduct must meet international quality standards, which are in turn concerned primarily with optimal patient care. Stakeholders in CARF-accredited facilities also benefit from increased organizational efficiency. All CARF quality of care standards have also been put before the public for validation.

Self-evaluation is vital to the initial stages of the accreditation process. As a given healthcare service provider completes this self-evaluation and brings its operation up to requested standards, then a request is sent for a CARF survey. Prior to the administration of the survey, there is also typically a period of at least six months during which the healthcare provider conforms to CARF standards. During the survey, industry peers consult medical personnel on staff as well as conducting interviews with both past and present patients. Official treatment documentation is reviewed and the survey team advises the health care provider on how to better execute patient care, manage financial holdings, and deliver service.

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