Accreditation: Pursuit of Excellence

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When a correctional facility achieves NCCHC accreditation, the message is clear: Its leaders are committed to providing a nationally accepted standard of care in health services delivery.

Although many correctional facilities are guided by the NCCHC Standards without seeking accreditation, those that do embark on a path toward quality improvement and achievement of a nationally accepted standard of care in health services delivery. The process can be challenging, especially for those new to accreditation, but the teams involved in this effort have a great ally as they strive to come into compliance with the standards: NCCHC, whose staff members provide guidance and assistance throughout the process. Compliance is measured by a survey team composed of experts who also share suggestions for improvement during the site visit.

But the effort is worth it, as staff at hundreds of prisons, jails and juvenile facilities can attest. Although preparation for and the actual experience of a site survey can seem daunting, facility staff consistently comment on the value of feedback from knowledgeable professionals, as well as their own pride in a job well done. Importantly, accreditation also signals a constitutionally acceptable level of care for a facility’s inmates, which translates into improved health status, fewer grievances and lawsuits, and reduced health risk to the community when inmates are released.