TPS Awarded 3-year CARF Accreditation
From Matt Revis
Very early in my career, I noticed a simple phrase in black and white posted above the desk of a social worker in Buncombe County. “We have done so much for so long with so little we are now qualified to do everything with nothing.” Today I can say that we have done so much work on CARF for so long that we are now qualified to be accredited for three years. Officially, Turning Point Services has been accredited by CARF for a period of three years for Community Services Coordination (which we call Case Management) and for Community Employment Services (known as Supported Employment in North Carolina). This is the longest period of accreditation bestowed by CARF and reflects confidence in our capacity to constantly improve as an agency using CARF standards. As the award letter reads,
“This achievement is an indication of your organization’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served. Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of excellence.”
CARF accreditation is just the beginning of an ongoing process of questioning, wondering, tinkering, discovering, planning, tweaking, trying and trying again that results in an agency constantly improving. Turning Point Services has embarked on a long term relationship with CARF, and I am certain both agencies will learn much as a result. I wish to thank everyone who worked on CARF-related projects, and offer special thanks to those of you who were engaged with CARF consultants during the survey.
Quality Management is not a special program or a set of projects carried out by one individual or one section of an organization. It is a way of doing business that engages everyone in an organization or a system, including external partners and other stakeholders.
Service Providers have a complicated role in the quality of service delivery in North Carolina. Turning Point Services is responsible for designing and implementing processes that deliver services according to: (1) definitions; (2) the State's core administrative rules; (3) best practice and national accreditation standards; (4) our own policies; and, (5) the policies and policy interpretations of local management entities. This is a daunting task. To manage quality in this chaotic and conflicting environment, we must collect and interpret data on all our operations, and be prepared to share this data with other partners.
After much discussion, Turning Point Services decided to seek national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The efforts of the CARF Committee, a group that has been meeting for over a year, have already resulted in policy and practice changes that have brought us closer to CARF expectations. Currently, we are working on strengthening our health and safety procedures and soon will begin significant work on financial, IT and service-specific standards. Tentative date for the CARF survey team to visit is in the Spring of 2008. We will receive a thorough review of many 'core' standards related to all of our business pratices. In addition, we will seek specific service accreditation for our Community Support/Case Management and Supported Employment programs. When Turning Point Services becomes CARF-accredited (and we will), it means that we have passed an in-depth review that assures the public that TPS meets rigorous CARF guidelines for service and quality -- a qualified endorsement that we conform to nationally and internationally recognized services standards and are focused on delivering the most favorable results for consumers.
I invite you to click through (using the link below) to the CARF web site and learn more. A short video about CARF is also available for your review.