Joint Commission Accreditation

Cascade Academy is proud to announce that we have achieved our Joint Commission Accreditation.  For those unfamiliar with the process, Joint Commission Accreditation is considered the “Gold Star” awarded only to programs, schools and healthcare facilities that meet the highest industry standards of care.  This achievement has required significant effort by each of our departments and we are very pleased to make this exciting announcement.

What Does It Mean?

“Achieving Joint Commission accreditation demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement in patient care while delivering best practice interventions throughout each department. Joint Commission accreditation tells our families & students patients we are committed to providing safe, high-quality care — time after time.”  Less than 20% of treatment facilities nationwide are accredited by the Joint Commission. Only those programs committed to the highest level of care, willing to subject themselves to the highest levels of scrutiny and are willing to embrace the highest levels of accountability can achieve the distinguished honor of Joint Commission Accreditation.

What is the Process?

The best word to describe the process of receiving accreditation is “comprehensive”.  Remember that all licensed programs already meet the state standards of care for a safe and healthy environment.  The additional expectations are intended to go above and beyond the standard expectations of care and become a high reliability organization. The process includes the following five steps:

  1. Self-Assessment – After becoming familiar with the Joint Commissions standards a program will assess their program to ensure its feasibility.
  2. Application – When submitting an application, programs will voluntarily provide detailed information about all of the moving parts of their organization.  This includes, schedules, employee qualifications, policies and procedures and any company documents that direct treatment.
  3. Evaluation – A trained Joint Commission auditor reviews the facility in depth; policy, performance improvement initiatives, clinical care and documentation, employee screening and training practices etc. to ensure that all processes meet the highest industry standards. 
  4. Deliberation – Following an evaluation, every program or provider is given a list of improvements that need to be made to be considered for accreditation with an accompanying timeline.  Suggested improvements may be as simple as documentation processes and as complicated as new policies and procedures. 
  5. Accreditation – Once the Joint Commission has extended their congratulatory accreditation there are ongoing standards and expectations that must be met to remain in good standing.  This includes biannual reviews, unannounced visits and check-ins and ongoing accountability to ensure the highest standard of care is being offered each and every day.

As the wellness and behavioral healthcare industry has evolved over the past several decades treatment has become increasingly more sophisticated, more trauma informed and more successful.  The dignity of clients and their families has been honored and sacred trust that is placed in treatment providers has developed. “As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly as possible.”

At Cascade Academy we are excited to be recognized with our Joint Commission Accreditation. As we move forward onto the next steps of our journey we anticipate improved oversight and accountability, increased access to insurance benefits for our families and improved systems governing the planning, delivery and reporting of our program offerings.