What differentiates a person who wants to become a doctor from someone who actually works within the profession? What separates someone that gives good advice from an individual who works as a clinical therapist?
While the schooling they achieve and the professional experience they receive form the basis of their knowledge, it is the licensure they are granted after completing schooling that enables doctors to begin serving the communities in which they live.
By comparison, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or CARF, is the standard bearer of licensure for treatment facilities providing clinical services within their communities. It signifies the training and expertise attained by an establishment and certifies that those individuals receiving their services are provided with the highest level of professional care and courtesy.
Being granted licensure and accreditation by CARF requires extensive auditing and insight in order to ensure the facilities bearing their stamp of approval hold to the highest level of clinical care.
Understanding the rigorous protocol enacted to achieve the CARF accreditation and maintain the licensure through follow-up audits and site visits can provide some insight into the efforts being made by treatment facilities in order to preserve their accreditation.
What are the CARF Standards of Rehabilitation?
Who is eligible to receive a CARF accreditation? What standards of rehabilitation are required in order to meet their clinical expectations?
The standard set by CARF is purposely difficult to attain. It signifies the highest level of certification that a treatment facility can receive and sets them within the highest echelon of therapeutic facilities within the world.
The CARF standard ensures that the organization displaying their seal has undergone extensive auditing and inspection in order to ensure that the services you receive are of the highest quality. That is why receiving their accreditation takes time and supreme effort on the part of the treatment facility working to achieve CARF approval.
Specific steps include:
- Consulting with a specific CARF resource specialist
- Conducting a self-evaluation prior to CARF’s arrival
- Submitting the survey application
- Paying the CARF surveyor fee
- Participating in the CARF extensive audit
- Waiting to receive the findings from the CARF audit
This whole process can take over a year to initiate and prepare the facility for the CARF audit, and the audit itself typically lasts 3 to 5 days depending on the size of the facility and the number of clinicians providing services.
While achieving accreditation is contingent upon specific components of a facility’s functionality, such as a viable integrated strategic and financial plan, the true purpose of the comprehensive and exhaustive audit process is to ensure the treatment being provided to clients meets the highest clinical standard.
This is accomplished by measuring specific performances standards, identifying a facility’s technology integration, identifying their resource coordination, and monitoring the geographical areas being served.
CARF Accreditation Requirements
Achieving CARF accreditation is no simple task. CARF itself holds all facilities to a level of professional and clinical distinction appropriately titled, ‘ASPIRE to Excellence.’
This framework ensures that all treatment facilities applying for CARF accreditation are held to the same standard of enacting and facilitating rehabilitation. The term ASPIRE signifies the tenants of CARF and reinforces its rehabilitative expectation prior to accreditation.
ASPIRE stands for:
- Assess the environment
- Set strategy
- Persons served and other stakeholders (obtain input)
- Implement the plan
- Review results
- Effect change
This verbiage functions as a roadmap for those working within a treatment facility striving to attain accreditation through CARF. At its core, facilities such as Covenant Hills emulates this terminology by taking the lexicon identified by CARF and assimilating it into their daily mantra.
From the accreditation requirements to the stellar standards of rehabilitation, holding to the clinical expectations established by CARF ensures that Covenant Hills not only adheres to the highest of clinical expectations, but does so with the clients’ needs as its primary motivation.
After all, what is a treatment facility worth if those being served are not the most important element to its professional existence?
CARF vs. Joint Commission
These two accreditation bodies are well respected and prevalent within the field of therapy and recovery. Their functionality and purpose of monitoring treatment facilities and ensuring that the services being provided are closely tied, but some differences do exist.
In particular, the Joint Commission is more medically-based while CARF is more focused in the individual healthcare industry. This distinction makes CARF the more commonly sought-after accreditation by therapeutic establishments specializing in substance use disorders and co-occurring treatment interventions.
Understanding this distinction is what initially inspired Covenant Hills to pursue the CARF accreditation.
Accredited, Life-Changing Addiction Rehab at Covenant Hills
Our primary goal since inception has been to provide our clientele with the highest level of clinical care. We were keenly aware that attaining a CARF accreditation
would not only guarantee that we achieved this goal, but also ensured that those seeking their rehabilitative services fully understood the quality of our staff and establishment.
As a renowned faith-based drug rehabilitation center in Southern California, Covenant Hills is a safe place to find peace and connection throughout the recovery journey. We deliver credible, world-class addiction treatment with a dedicated team of medical doctors, licensed addiction therapists, and accredited counselors who will empower you to achieve your goals of lifelong sobriety.
Through our whole-person approach, we’re here to help guide you back to the person God made you to be.