7 Software Features That Will Make CARF Accreditation Easier

From documentation to communication, these software features will streamline your CARF journey.

The CARF accreditation process requires careful planning, preparation, and continuous improvement efforts afterward. 


In our last article, we outlined several best practices that will help make your first (or next) CARF survey easier. Today, we’ll talk about another tool that can assist you on your CARF journey: disability service software.  


Disability service software is designed to simplify every aspect of service delivery — and there are several features that can help streamline the CARF accreditation process.  


Don’t expect software to do all the heavy lifting for you: achieving CARF accreditation still requires active participation, collaboration, and ongoing commitment from your organization’s staff members and leaders.  


What you should expect from a good set of software tools is the ability to manage your data and documentation, generate reports based on that data, and keep track of all the moving pieces needed for CARF accreditation.  


Here are some key features that can make managing the complexities of the accreditation process easier and more efficient:  

1. Document management

We’ve all experienced the stress of trying to organize your files ahead of an audit — or worse, scrambling to locate a file while an auditor impatiently taps their foot.  


A robust document management system saves you from this headache by organizing and storing all relevant documentation required for CARF accreditation. This includes policies, procedures, client records, quality improvement plans, and more.  


Features such as folders, labels, and search functionality further simplify the accreditation process by ensuring that you have the necessary documentation right at your fingertips during your CARF survey. 

2. Forms

Comprehensive forms management tools are essential for streamlining the creation, distribution, and completion of required forms for CARF accreditation. Software should offer configurable form templates tailored to CARF requirements, such as your job site health & safety checklist or job analysis. Additional features like electronic signatures help to simplify the documentation process and ensure that all necessary forms are completed correctly and on time. 

3. Data validation

Software that includes automated validation or error-checking can go a long way toward ensuring the accuracy and completeness of your data. Automatically populate information from the client record, spell-check notes, require signatures on forms, and notify managers when documentation is incomplete.  

With a software system that includes these features, you’ll be able to trust that your files are audit-ready. Likewise, CARF auditors can trust that the data provided by your organization accurately reflects its impact and outcomes — reducing the chances of findings or deficiencies during your CARF survey.  

4. Employee and employer data management

Software that offers comprehensive employee data management functionality allows you to track and manage your staff’s training and certifications effectively. Supervisors can track training progress and ensure that all staff members are properly trained to deliver safe, high-quality services in line with CARF standards. 


If your agency provides employment services, you’ll also want to look for a system that includes functionality for managing employer relationships. An employer CRM (customer relationship management) will help you track information related to employer interactions and job placements, such as the employer’s name, contact information, job placements and openings, feedback and preferences, and communication history. Some systems like SETWorks even include an employer map to help you plan transportation to and from the job site.  


By consolidating employee and employer data within the same system, you’ll gain a comprehensive view of your workforce and employer network — which ultimately makes CARF accreditation that much easier. 

5. Collaboration and communication tools

Effective communication and collaboration are essential for successful CARF accreditation. Software features such as internal messaging and shared calendars facilitate scheduling and communication among staff members, helping you to maintain a high level of transparency and efficiency. Similarly, secure messaging tools help streamline communication with clients, family members, and employer partners by allowing them to complete and sign forms electronically.  

6. Reports & business intelligence

Quality improvement is a central aspect of CARF accreditation, and software that supports this process is essential. Features such as data analytics, exportable reports, and outcome tracking tools help organizations report on key performance indicators and quality improvement initiatives. This data-driven approach enables you to track progress toward your CARF goals over time and identify areas for improvement. For instance, you can run reports to show what percentage of your clients are employed, their average wage, length of employment, and more.  

7. Auditor read-only access

The ability to provide auditor read-only access to your software system will revolutionize the CARF survey process. This feature allows surveyors to review documentation, policies, and data securely without making any changes. You can control permissions to ensure that surveyors only have access to relevant information, maintaining data integrity and client confidentialityThis feature is especially useful if some or all of your audit will be completed virtually.  

Finding the right software

Software that includes these seven features will help to streamline CARF survey preparation and facilitate communication among team members involved in the accreditation process.  


Not every software system will include all these features — and the specific capabilities of these features can vary widely from platform to platform. We’re proud to share that SETWorks does include each of these seven features, and our clients have successfully navigated numerous audits by meticulously maintaining everything they need within SETWorks. ’That’s why it’s important to look for a system that is designed with disability service agencies in mind, and the best time to start thinking about implementing an electronic system to help with audits is now .

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