NIATx deputy director calls the two organizations' processes
October 19, 2011, Tucson,
Arizona -- The CARF International accreditation process and the NIATx model of
process improvement share the same goal: to improve the lives of persons
who are receiving services.
model for process improvement complements the CARF accreditation process,"
said NIATx Deputy Director Todd Molfenter, Ph.D. "CARF's standards promote
improvement in service delivery and reflect quality practices in the field. We
consistently hear that the NIATx model helps organizations conform to CARF's
Founded in 2003
as the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment, NIATx works with
addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare organizations across the United
States to improve access to and retention in treatment for the millions of
Americans seeking help with substance abuse or mental health issues. NIATx is a
learning collaborative within the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for
Health Enhancement Systems Studies.
International family of organizations, including CARF, CARF Canada, and CARF-CCAC,
is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services, including
behavioral health programs.
Foundation Senior Vice President/CPO Kathee Reville agrees that the CARF and
NIATx processes are complementary. "Each has a goal of quality improvement,
and each encourages organizations to conduct a thorough, internal review,"
she said. The Seven Hills Foundation offers a continuum of support and services
for individuals with disabilities and other life challenges in more than 80
communities throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The organization has
earned CARF accreditation for several of its Seven Hills Family Services, Inc.,
and Seven Hills Behavioral Health, Inc., programs and also participates in the
NIATx review process. Reville continued, "The outcome of both processes has
been positive for the Seven Hills Foundation. It has focused our organization's
attention on areas that are outstanding, which we can disseminate throughout
the organization, and on areas in which we can improve."
International's ASPIRE to Excellence® is a framework of standards
for logical business practices to guide a service provider through a continuous
cycle of quality improvement. The ASPIRE standards include assessing the
environment, setting strategy, obtaining input from persons served and other
stakeholders, implementing the plan, reviewing the plan, and effecting change.
accreditation process begins with the service provider consulting with a CARF
resource specialist and performing a self-evaluation. After the provider
applies a rigorous set of CARF standards for a minimum of six months, a CARF
survey team of peers conducts an on-site survey to determine the provider's
conformance to all applicable CARF standards. The accreditation decision is
based on the surveyors' findings. Accreditation, however, is an ongoing
process. A provider achieving accreditation must submit a Quality Improvement
Plan to outline actions it will take in response to areas for improvement
identified in the report. On each yearly anniversary throughout the term of accreditation,
the provider reaffirms its ongoing conformance to the CARF standards.
In a complementary
fashion, the NIATx model of process improvement is quality driven, customer
centered, and outcomes focused. The process begins with a complete walkthrough
to understand customer needs, decide what is to be accomplished, and identify
how progress will be evaluated. Then the provider selects and tests changes. To
sustain gains, the provider uses what it has learned from patients who sustain
initiatives are built on its four aims: reduce waiting times, reduce no-shows,
increase admissions, and increase continuation. The aims are expansive and can
include any service delivery area that leads to performance improvement.
The first NIATx
principle is to understand and involve the customer (person served). Similarly,
the CARF accreditation process is centered on enhancing the lives of the
persons served. Providers that achieve CARF accreditation have demonstrated a
commitment to listening to the expectations of the person served, communicating
in a way each person served understands, making services accessible, involving
the person served in outcomes planning, and monitoring the satisfaction with
that many CARF-accredited providers use the NIATx model, we completed a crosswalk
of the two processes to determine compatibility," said Nikki Migas, CARF managing
director for Behavioral Health. "We found that CARF accreditation supports
the NIATx model and that the NIATx aims fit well within the requirements of the
information about NIATx, visit www.niatx.net.
More information about the CARF accreditation process is at www.carf.org.
10/19/2011 12:05:00 AM