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Originally published: 2012-09-11 17:06:51
Last modified: 2012-09-11 17:06:51

Student health service at ASU achieves reaccreditation

M.S. Shook Student Health Service at Appalachian State University has achieved reaccreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Accreditation distinguishes the campus health clinic from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

Status as an accredited organization means Appalachian's student health service has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC.

More than 5,000 ambulatory health-care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC.

Not all ambulatory health-care organizations seek accreditation, and not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

"Receiving AAAHC reaccreditation speaks very highly of the university's commitment to support a quality clinic environment for the students, and it also speaks highly of the commitment our entire staff has to providing excellent care for the students," said Dr. Bob Ellison, director of the student health service. "This was a real team effort."

The reaccreditation process occurs every three years.

It looks at standards related to policies and procedures, interactions with other health-care providers and resources in the county and other university departments, and credentials and education of staff, among others.

"It's validation of your practice and another measure of quality," said Joyce Moretz Young, a registered nurse, of the reaccreditation.

Young is the nurse supervisor for Appalachian's student health service.

"The standards we must meet for reaccreditation are there for a reason -- to ensure the quality of care provided to each the patient. Those standards result in better clinical practice," she said.

Ambulatory health-care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors -- physicians, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care.

The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health-care accreditation. AAAHC accredits a variety of organizations, including ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery centers, endoscopy centers, student health centers, military health-care clinics, and large medical and dental practices.

AAAHC serves as an advocate for the provision of high-quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs.

AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by third-party payers, medical organizations, liability insurance companies, state and federal agencies and the public.