Dementia is a serious and growing public health problem in the United States. Nearly 60% of nursing home residents are estimated to be cognitively impaired. Currently about 10% of nursing homes have special care units for residents with serious dementia including Alzheimer's disease. This research evaluates a protocol developed by the Joint Commission on Accrediation of Healthcare Organizations to assess the capability of special care units to provide quality care. The protocol was pilot tested through the use of two separate evaluations of diverse special care units in metropolitan Chicago. In comparing the two separate surveys from each site, data analysis revealed a high rate of correlation between these two evaluations at three distinct levels. The standards used, their intent, and the survey process were considered sound by those who tested the protocol and by those who were evaluated by it.