Facts About Accreditation
So what is “accreditation?”
Accreditation is a voluntary process that enables a private practice or an ambulatory surgery center to measure the quality of its services and performance against nationally-recognized standards. The accreditation process involves self-assessment as well as a thorough review by an accreditation surveyor. Accreditation is a symbol of high-quality healthcare and complete dedication to patient safety.
Does my facility need accreditation?
Many states are enacting guidelines or regulations that center on accreditation and those that have remained silent are likely to follow the lead of these more proactive states.
Will statewide regulation affect my practice?
States that have been particularly aggressive in establishing guidelines based on accreditation standards or guidelines include New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, and Florida. Many professional societies are also weighing in, including the American Medical Association (AMA), The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
How does accreditation differ from licensure and certification?
While accreditation is based upon performance improvement overseen by private organizations, licensure and certification are state-mandated and overseen by governmental entities. Accreditation focuses on achievable standards, while licensure and certification define minimum expectations. It is important to note that you can still be accredited without being licensed or certified, and vice versa.
Why should I consider accreditation for my practice or ASC?
There are five main advantages to having your surgery center or private practice accredited:
1. Accreditation is a quality seal of approval by an outside agency.
2. Accreditation is a useful marketing tool, distinguishing you from non-accredited competitors.
3. Accreditation alerts fearful patients that quality benchmarks and safeguards are in place.
4. Accreditation may help reduce the liability risk in the event of an adverse outcome.
5. Some states are now requiring accreditation with potentially more to follow.
How long does the total accreditation process take?
As each facility is different and each accreditation agency has its own requirements, the total accreditation process can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.
It can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months before you receive a facility inspection, depending on the accrediting organization. This timeline is a general guide since foreseen and unforeseen
deficiencies with core services can cause delays.