25 Years of Healthcare Accreditation Transformation
Sandra (Sandy) C. Canally, RN is the CEO of The Compliance Team, Inc. (TCT), the healthcare evaluation firm she founded in 1994.
At the age of nine, Sandy became the principal caregiver of her polio-crippled, gravely-ill single mother (heart disease) in Philadelphia. As a result, she matured into a passionate patient advocate. Once described as “divinely discontent” by her college religion professor, Sandy spent the better part of the past 60 years serving on the front lines in nearly every sector of the United States’ healthcare delivery system.
Already a child nursing prodigy by her teens, Sandy went on to become one of the nation’s first Nurse Oncologists to pioneer National Cancer Institute treatment protocols. Her resume would not be complete without mentioning that she has been a patient herself. She survived no less than eight major surgeries, several of which involved near fatal preventable medical errors.
“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.” ― Florence Nightingale
By the mid-1990s, Sandy was convinced that the dominant healthcare accreditation programs of the day had grown unnecessarily complex and burdensome. In 1994, she founded The Compliance Team and challenged herself to come up with healthcare’s first “simplified” service-specific, operations-based, accreditation protocols. Thanks to her chutzpah, buoyant optimism, and genius at keeping the “minutiae” to a minimum, Sandy developed a radically different set of quality measures, along with common-sense protocols to meet them. Her efforts dramatically simplified healthcare accreditation and have turned the accreditation process into a much more reliable and consumer-friendly indicator of patient care quality.
“It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” ― W. Edwards Deming
The Compliance Team’s first program for DMEPOS (Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies) was beta-tested for four years. In 1998, the first Exemplary Provider® Award was filed at the Library of Congress. Four months later, in March 1999, North Carolina Blue Cross/Blue Shield formally recognized The Compliance Team’s DMEPOS accreditation program – a full three years before CMS made it mandatory for DMEPOS providers to obtain accreditation.
After the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, the Secretary of Health and Human Services authorized The Compliance Team to accredit Medicare Part-B DMEPOS providers. In 2014, the firm received the Secretary’s authority to accredit Medicare Part-A Rural Health Clinic (RHC), and in 2018, The Compliance Team received Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approval to accredit Part-A Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) practitioners.
The Compliance Team, Inc. is recognized today as the first certified woman-owned, nurse-led, national healthcare accreditation organization. 2019 marks The Compliance Team’s 25th year in business. The Compliance Team accredits thousands of provider organizations every year in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands while offering 17 industry-leading, operations-based, service specific accreditation programs for clinics, PCMH, pharmacy, DMEPOS and private duty healthcare provider organizations.
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