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Consumers find redesigned CARF-accredited service provider search easy to use and understand

May 11, 2010 -- Tucson, AZ -- A brain hemorrhage was the last thing on the mind of a typical person -- let's call him Joe Smith -- when the unexpected happened: Joe suffered a stroke. Within moments of the event, Joe's and his family's world was turned upside down. Although his doctors predicted he would fully recover, Joe required extensive healthcare and rehabilitation, first in a hospital inpatient and then in an outpatient setting, before resuming his normal life. When he returned to his home, Joe continued his physical and occupational therapy.

The Smith family, concerned that Joe receive the best care available, looked to accreditation to ensure that Joe's service providers' service quality would be focused on his unique needs. CARF International is a nonprofit, global accreditor of health and human services. Using CARF International's online provider search tool at www.carf.org/providersearchenabled the Smiths to find therapists and healthcare services close to their home. 

Now, thanks to enhancements to the CARF's provider search tool, the Smith family can easily match service providers with Joe's needs and geographic area. A new search option allows family members to enter keywords, such as "stroke," "physical therapy," "long-term care," or "case management," to find CARF-accredited providers. Using the advanced search option, they can find a range of services close to home by entering their city, state, province, country, or Zip or postal code. They can also search for program name, focus, age group, or special population. Search results include profiles of appropriate service providers, including links to their websites and maps to locations.

"The provider search tool translates technical names of CARF-accredited programs and services into everyday and easily understood terms," said Brian J. Boon, Ph.D., president and CEO of CARF. "CARF's mission is rooted in enhancing the lives of persons who are receiving services. The major improvement to the utility of our provider search tool helps us to carry out our mission."

The recently redesigned CARF website,www.carf.orgalso provides other resources for consumers and their families to find and use services. The Smiths, for example, applied the tips they found on the onlineHow to Choose Services for Yourself and Your Loved Onesand theNational Stroke Association's Guide to Choosing Stroke Rehabilitation Services.

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5/11/2010 12:05:00 AM

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