NCQA Accreditation is an on-going effort. Even after the initial processes are finished, there are new processes, technology, and standards that have to be worked into your daily work.

But for those who are preparing for their first go-around with NCQA accreditation, there are a few measures you can take to ensure the process goes smoothly and without any major hiccups. Let’s take a look.

NCQA accreditation

1. “It’s not my job.”

That simple statement is one that can’t be spoken (or thought) during accreditation. It’s not the Quality Department’s job alone to handle the process–it involves participation from every single division within your healthcare system. Does it make sense to have one person head up the accreditation efforts as a whole? Sure. But that person has to be able to work with a team who can gather the information from each different nook and cranny–and without any grumbles.

2. “We can handle this alone.”

NCQA accreditation is a lofty undertaking. So whether you decide to work with an outside consulting firm or with the limited resources from NCQA, know that it’s okay to seek out help. Getting some expert guidance makes the process run much more smoothly and increases the likelihood of achieving accreditation on your first try.

3. “We’ll put this off until it gets closer.”

Accreditation involves many stages, and for you, that means serious prep time. Don’t put off your internal review process to catch the roadblocks and incorrect procedures that will slow up the accreditation process. When you can be proactive and get a jump start, you save your staff from major stress and headaches during the process.

4. “NCQA will help us pinpoint what we need to fix.”

The accreditation process is about making sure you’re following high quality standards–not walking you through how to fix your trouble areas. It’s all in, or not at all. This is another reason why working with an outside consultant is a good idea–they can do some of the hand-holding, whereas NCQA will not. Because accreditation entails a significant investment, this is not something you want to be lukewarm about.

Be Prepared for NCQA Accreditation

If you can enter the process with eyes wide open, you’ll be much more successful with accreditation. If you’re still not sure NCQA is the right one for you, be sure to check out our comparison tool that puts five different organizations side by side for you to contrast and compare.