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Accreditation Management Software Products Have to be Adaptable to Meet the Rigors of Contemporary Accreditation

If there is one constant in this world it is that change will happen. It is inevitable. The business of accreditation is no exception. As standards and quality measures continue to become more rigorous, accreditation and certification bodies are continually re-assessing and updating how they hold their constituents accountable. 

To keep pace with this change, contemporary accreditation management software products need to be flexible and responsive, and empower accreditors to accommodate frequent changes. So, how can accreditation management software adapt to meet the challenges of contemporary accreditation? Let’s explore.

What is Accreditation Management Software?

Accreditation management software is designed to help accreditation bodies manage their accreditation process, from initial application through to final decision and re-accreditation, and all of the pieces in between. This type of software helps streamline the entire accreditation process by systematically organizing, capturing and managing the data and evidence required for successful accreditation.

The software is typically equipped with workflow tools that enable the delegation of tasks and tracking of progress, allowing for a more efficient and streamlined accreditation experience.

ARMATURE Fabric™ is one of the leading examples of an Accreditation Management Software product that provides organizations with the necessary tools to successfully navigate the accreditation process. With its robust feature set and user-friendly interface, ARMATURE makes managing accreditation easier and simpler, for all user-types. It is a secure, cloud-based product that promotes configuration over customization, making it highly adaptable and quick to deploy and update.

Primary Requirements in the Accreditation Process

While there are multiple types and flavors of accreditation, the primary components across each type tend to be relatively common. The following five elements below provide an example of a typical accreditation process:

1) Application Submission: This is the initial discovery stage, where information about an organization’s structure, governance, the scope of services, and delegation activities is requested. The information collected largely depends on the accreditation required, for instance:

  • Organizational mission and goals
  • Key leadership and qualifications
  • Risk management posture
  • Clinical workflows
  • Faculty
  • Performance supervision and improvement
  • Consumer empowerment and protection

2) Application Review: In this stage, all documents uploaded and answers provided may be scored based on their level of compliance with the required standard. Recommendations and comments from experts (internal or external reviewers) will be given when standards are partially met or not met at all. The goal of this stage is to help strengthen an organization’s policies and procedures and bring them up to standard. This process could involve one or more review cycles (rounds) depending on the number of revisions required.

3) Site Visit: The site visit helps to validate the accuracy of statements and evidence collected during the application phase. These visits may be conducted at a facility or online, or maybe a blend of both. Activities in this stage often include:

  • Interviews with management
  • Interviews with staff
  • File reviews
  • Facility tours

A summary report is often provided after the completion of the review.

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4) Committee Review: The stamp of approval is often conducted by a Committee or Board of Directors who review a final report and make a decision. These Committees can consist of senior accreditation staff and/or third-party experts. Accreditation determinations can result in multiple outcomes including:

  • Complete/Full accreditation
  • Conditional accreditation (deficiencies require correction)
  • Provisional accreditation (given to organizations/programs, or start-ups with less than the required number of case files)
  • Non-accredited status (corrective action needed)
  • Denial (organizations can often reapply after a certain timeframe)

5) Continuous Monitoring: Many accredited organizations or programs undergo continuous or frequent monitoring during an accreditation cycle to ensure that they consistently improve, demonstrate excellent performance, and maintain standards.

Software Products Must be Flexible Enough to Meet the Changing Demands of Accreditation Bodies

1) Because standards change from year to year (or cycle to cycle). Accreditation standards are not designed to be fixed. There are organizations charged with the responsibility of developing, revising, and assessing accreditation standards periodically. Technology needs to be flexible enough to adapt to these changes.

2) New Accreditation types are created. When new accreditation programs are developed, it should be relatively easy to add them to your existing software solution. Those products that can meet these requirements need to be configurable and able to accommodate new processes quickly and effectively.

3) Processes can change. The process of accreditation is developed based on the current needs of the profession, the delivery system, as well as input from communities of interest, hence may change from time-to-time. The ability to update processes efficiently is critical.

4) Data collection requirements can change. Just as there are different regulatory and rating bodies, the data collection requirements for each of them may also be different. Oftentimes, data requirements for a particular industry may be modified over time to maintain standards.

5) Changes in accredited programs or organizations require certain levels of reporting. Most changes, such as those relating to a facility location, faculty or curriculum, must be reported through annual reports, or progress reports. Others must be reported immediately. Software products should be designed to capture data and initiate applicable processes to support both scenarios.

6) Because more and more accreditors are adopting the idea of continuous quality improvement . Continuous quality improvement is the hallmark of efficiency and effectiveness and accreditation software products must be collaboratively designed and flexible enough to facilitate learning and continuous quality improvement.

How ARMATURE’s Accreditation Management Software Empowers your Staff to Manage the Accreditation Process

ARMATURE’s Accreditation Management Software is a powerful cloud-based solution that enables your staff to efficiently manage the accreditation process and drive continuous quality improvement. With its comprehensive and user-friendly toolset, ARMATURE streamlines data collection, process management, issue identification, task management, and activity tracking, all within a single product. By leveraging the extensive features and functionality of ARMATURE, you can empower your staff to navigate simple or complex accreditation processes with ease, saving time, energy, and valuable resources. And, it enables you to make changes in real-time so you can keep up with the ever-changing nature of the business of accreditation.

Our team is also investigating how to best leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to support the accreditation process. This could manifest itself in many ways, from predictive analytics and document analysis, to compliance forecasting. While this will be the subject of a future article, we know there is opportunity out there to make further improvements to the accreditation process using this type of advanced technology.

If you’re looking for a world-class accreditation management software that is flexible, adaptable, and responsive, look no further than ARMATURE. With our proven track record of success and commitment to customer satisfaction, ARMATURE is the ideal choice for organizations seeking to transform their accreditation processes and scale up to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about how ARMATURE can empower your staff and help you achieve your accreditation goals. 

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