It’s All About Mitigating Risk – Technology Plans and Accreditation

Every successful organization needs a comprehensive, carefully planned, effective risk management program; one that not only focuses on risks related to finances, insurance levels, human resource practices, etc., but includes a thorough review of information and technology management risks.  This is true whether an organization is seeking accreditation or not, as there is always risk involved when talking about technology. One component to help control risk and plan for future organizational growth is the development of a formal written information … Continue reading

Pro-active Measures to Keep Cyber Criminals Out

I have the perfect 100% guarantee to protect your information systems from ANY cyber-attack. You will pay me handsomely for my solution too. Here it is: Cut the power cord on your PC and bury everything in concrete. Problem solved! Ha, hack that hackers! Although this drastic measure is theoretically effective, it’s obviously a non-starter. However, the idea does illustrate a greater and more important point: if your systems are powered up and connected in some way to the Internet, … Continue reading

Annual Plan is Strategic Plan’s Greatest Tool for Success

Most nonprofit organizations have (or should have!) a long-term strategic plan, one that they have spent a great deal of time and resources to develop. By engaging various staff, board members and stakeholders, the strategic planning process can be an effective way to identify strategies that will support the organization as it strives to fulfill its mission. As stellar as the strategic plan may be, however, unless its strategies are methodically put into action, the plan itself becomes inconsequential to … Continue reading

Maintenance of Accreditation Key to Continued Achievement

Accreditation is an exceptional accomplishment for an organization. Awarded by an independent accrediting body, accreditation validates that an organization has effectively met designated national industry standards and is appropriately fulfilling its mission. Becoming accredited is a significant investment of time, effort and a multitude of resources dedicated to earning this distinction. Reaccreditation is a process that typically takes place every three or four years (depending on the accrediting body) and also must be earned via a thorough review process of … Continue reading

Learning by Review: Why I chose to be an Accreditation Peer Reviewer

I have been a peer reviewer for the past 37 years. Volunteering my services for a national accrediting body has enhanced my professional development exponentially; equally as valuable, though, I have gained the feeling that my contributions make a measurable difference in the lives of others. There are a multitude of reasons for participating in the peer review process. Professionally, I have developed a ‘tool kit’ of skills that has strengthened my analytical, evaluation and presentation skills. Working with likeminded … Continue reading

Accreditation in Action – MercyFirst

 MercyFirst is one of New York’s leading not-for-profit human service agencies. They serve more than 4,000 children and their families, without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation or physical condition, at locations in Brooklyn, Queens and throughout Long Island. 1. Which accreditation do you currently hold? MercyFirst is presently Council on Accreditation (COA) accredited and Sanctuary certified. 2. What was the original reason(s) for becoming accredited? MercyFirst is accredited by COA because COA standards are in line with the services and … Continue reading

Quality Improvement and Benchmarking

One of the central components of national accreditation is the focus on performance and quality improvement (PQI) programs. This is the process of collecting, aggregating and analyzing data to discover trends and patterns and make improvements (or expand upon achievements) where necessary. Behavioral health and human services organizations often collect data on key performance areas and internally review them. What many often fail to do is to lift their heads out of a mountain of data to analyze trends and … Continue reading