Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation (CARF™)

The Commission on Accreditation and Rehabilitation (CARF™) is a nonprofit organization that provides accreditation services to a variety of different treatment centers at their own request, including disability rehabilitation, retirement facilities, home and community services, and substance abuse treatment facilities.

Optimizing patient outcomes through community and collaboration

Every reputable substance abuse treatment center wants to provide the best care possible for their patients while still operating a profitable business, but sometimes it’s hard to see areas in your own practice where there is room for improvement. That’s where accrediting bodies such as CARF have a valuable role to play because they use the power of accountability and collaboration to raise the standards of care for many different types of treatment centers.

CARF’s mission statement is vital to the organization’s unyielding commitment to using the accreditation process to improve outcomes for patients, families, and treatment centers alike. It reads:

“The mission of CARF is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served.”

The vision of CARF states that “Through responsiveness to a dynamic and diverse environment, CARF serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of life of the persons served.” They use their mission statement and vision as guideposts for actions that further their three core values:

  • All people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect
  • All people should have access to needed services that achieve optimum outcomes
  • All people should be empowered to exercise informed choice

These core values inform every part of the accreditation process at CARF, thereby ensuring that all accredited institutions share the same values and will work in concert to improve the treatment experience for all patients, employees, and stakeholders.

Moving the industry forward through education and ethical standards

The substance abuse treatment industry is in constant flux. New studies frequently uncover more effective ways to connect with patients and treat their specific symptoms, and throughout the 21st-century treatment, providers have increasingly come to understand the importance of human dignity as a factor in treating patients with addiction.

That’s why CARF places a high value on continuing education for their accredited treatment providers and maintains a robust set of ethical standards for the privilege of accreditation. Substance use disorder treatment providers always have more to learn when it comes to delivering the best possible experience for their patients, and CARF exists as a conduit of education, consultation, and training that can help them realize this goal of continually improving organizational knowledge.

The role of accreditation for substance use disorder treatment centers

Accreditation by CARF is a signal to the world at large that a treatment facility makes a concerted effort to research and provide the highest quality care practices, and always treats patients with the utmost dignity and respect throughout the treatment process and beyond. In order to become a CARF-accredited organization, treatment centers must complete a rigorous process that includes:

  • Completing a thorough internal examination of the center’s business practices
  • Submitting to an on-site survey conducted by expert practitioners
  • Creating a quality improvement plan (QIP) which details any areas that can be improved as well as the plans for addressing these areas

Using accreditation to validate high-quality treatment

Substance use disorder treatment centers may already be practicing a variety of high-quality treatment methods and consistently affirming the dignity of their patients, but without accreditation, it is difficult for the public to separate the leaders from the pretenders. Applying for CARF accreditation can help you communicate to your patients that you share CARF’s mission and values and that you are always working to improve the outcomes of the treatment process. CARF is working closely with the NAATP to better serve individuals that require addiction services.

At AZZLY®, we also support and share CARF’s mission of continuous improvement and lifelong learning in pursuit of a better treatment experience. That’s why our Electronic Health Record solution enables addiction treatment professionals to optimize many of their processes for the benefit of everyone involved.

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