Accreditation can be viewed from two broad perspectives. It can either be seen as a status and on the other hand, it can also be seen as a process.
As a process, accreditation is the practice of certifying that an institution or a program has met some required standard and so, people are free to enjoy the facility.
The institution to be accredited is subjected to such tests as to verify the veracity and authenticity of their claims. In this way, the institution therefore continues to seek ways by which it can improve in order to maintain its accreditation status. As a status, moreover, accreditation is the provision of notification to the general public that a process, or a program or an institution, as the case may be has met certain standards and the claims it is making are genuine. This is a sort of legalization as it gives them the right to operate their business.
Accreditation is very important. it is necessary as it is a pointer to the quality of service an institution or organization is providing. Moreover, in situations where there are several providers of the same, or similar service, accreditation helps the consumer to be better positioned to make informed choices on which to choose from. Accreditation also gives room for continuous evaluation of the quality of products and services.
Accreditation also ensures that the concerned corporations strive to continually improve on their services as they are subjected to periodic evaluation. This translates to a better quality of service to the consumers.
The Joint Commission is a non-profit organization not affiliated to the government. it operates by scheduled surveys of hospitals. The hospitals are notified beforehand before the visits. The commission thereafter provides information as to the accreditation status of the hospital as well as the services that needs to be improved upon.
The Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA) is also not affiliated to the government. It is a good substitute to the Joint commission as it also accredits health care facilities by surveying them. The accreditation option is tailored towards the Durable Medical Equipment.
Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) is also a non-profit organization. it can also be seen as an alternative to the Joint commission. It accesses health care organizations that offer community based services. It is the first body created to perform this function.
ACHC is another organization involved in the process or accrediting health care facilities. Its primary instrument is survey. There are a number of other agencies that are involved in accrediting health care.
National Committee for quality Assurance: NCQA is also involved in the accreditation of health care facilities. It annually releases a report on all accredited health care providers and facilities.
Avmed is one of the health care providers in the country. It recently received an ‘ excellent’ rating from NCQA’s annual ratings. This corresponds to the highest accreditation status that can ever be accorded a health institution for service and clinical quality. (Reuters, 2008)
AvMed Receives Highest Quality Rating(2008) http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS133795+03-Jan-2008+PRN20080103
NCQA (2008) NAtional COmmittee for quality Assurance:Homepage http://www.ncqa.org/
The Joint COmmission (2008) About us. http://www.jointcommission.org/AboutUs/