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Quality of Care

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An important sign of quality in health care is being approved by respected agencies.

Accreditation is a process where standards are set, and health care providers are reviewed to make sure they are meeting those standards. Accrediting agencies review medical centers by interviewing patients and staff and observing the environment.

There are many accrediting agencies that review VA medical centers. Some of those reviews come from the following organizations*:

The Joint Commission
The Joint Commission examines and accredits hospitals across the country. Joint Commission standards help hospitals measure and improve services. They focus on patient care and environment to make sure all hospitals are safe. Joint Commission accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality and high standards.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
CARF helps health care providers improve the quality of their services, demonstrate value, and meet internationally recognized standards. VA is a member of CARF’s International Advisory Council, and VA programs have been achieving CARF accreditation since 1997.

College of American Pathologists (CAP)
The goal of the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is to improve the quality of clinical laboratory services. Labs accredited by CAP become part of an exclusive group of labs worldwide that have met the highest standards of excellence.

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
NCQA is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. Many federal and state regulators have used NCQA accreditation standards as models for their own requirements.

Commission on Cancer (CoC)
The Commission on Cancer is a nationally recognized accreditation program. CoC-accredited cancer programs continually evaluate their performance and take corrective action when necessary. Accreditation is the hallmark of a program’s commitment to patient-centered cancer care.

* For a complete list of current accreditation, contact your local VA medical center.