(sĕrt″ĭ-fĭ-kā′shŏn )

1. A legal document prepared by an official body that indicates a person or institution has met certain standards, or that a person has completed a prescribed course of instruction or training.
2. The completion of a form indicating the cause of death.
3. The legal process of declaring a person insane or mentally incompetent on the basis of medical evidence.

board certification

In health care, a process that ensures that a person has met standards beyond those of admission to licensure and has passed specialty examinations in a field, such as medical pathology or women's health care. Individual health care organizations establish their own standards and administer their proprietary board certification examinations. Practitioners who successfully complete all requirements are called diplomates of the board, or board-certified. Board certification may be required by a hospital for admission to the medical staff or for determination of a staff member's rank, e.g., general staff, associate staff, or full attending status.

categorical certification

A professional qualification to practice in one limited field within health care, rather than broad or unlimited certification.

medical-surgical nursing certification

The validation of knowledge in medical-surgical nursing via an examination offered by one of two organizations: 1) The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB), a partner of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), or 2) The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.

preadmission certification

A requirement for health care providers to obtain advance approval for Medicare, Medicaid, managed-care patients, and most third-party payers, for nonemergency admission to hospitals. The requirement is intended to determine whether the patient can be treated as an outpatient or in another, less expensive manner than as an inpatient. Failure to obtain a preadmission certification in a nonemergency situation may reduce or eliminate the health care provider’s obligation to pay for inpatient services rendered.

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