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Essential Components for a CARF® Strategic Plan

Whether you are preparing for an upcoming CARF® Survey or are under review to determine if you have maintained applicable standards, there are a few key components that should be accounted for before the surveyor arrives at your facilities. As a hub for “all things CARF®”, CARF® 101 is dedicated to ensuring that our readers have access to the information they need to be successful. In this article, we will look at some of the essential components for a CARF® strategic plan that must be ready to achieve a successful accreditation decision.

Before we look at some of the essential components needed for a strategic plan, it is important to stress that a written version is critical and reflective of what is being seen and heard by the surveyors in attendance. This means that you should take the time to prepare a strategic plan specifically for the survey in question. After the surveyor spends several days with your persons served, staff and management team they will have a good idea of whether or not your planning documents reflect the right information.

A successful CARF® strategic plan should be reflective of any elements that are needed to successfully run a facility. However, it can often be hard for organizations to have a clear view of what the essential components may be. While it is important to review the CARF® Standards Manual to determine what is expected, some of the key factors to keep in mind include:

    • Persons Served Expectations – A strategic plan should be reflective of and influenced by what the needs of the persons served by the organization may be.
    • Stakeholder Expectations – The plan should be reflective of and influenced by what the needs of the stakeholders of the organization may be.
    • Financial Opportunities and Threats – The plan should identify any financial opportunities or threats that may be present. Take care to identify any upcoming regulatory or legislative issues that may arise.
    • Service Area Demographics – The plan should accurately identify the demographics of your service area to provide a picture of the potential persons served and their needs.

While just a small sample of the components of a CARF® strategic plan, they are essential for a successful accreditation decision. If you are struggling to prepare for an upcoming survey, subscription-based resources like Accreditation Now, Inc. may help alleviate some of the common burdens that may be present. As always, ensure that the information you include aligns with the standards found in your CARF® manual.

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