BOONE—M.S. Shook Student Health Service at Appalachian State University has achieved reaccreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
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 evaluation process.
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 is a true measure of quality,” said Joyce Moretz Young, RN, of the reaccreditation. Young is the nurse supervisor and quality improvement staff person for Appalachian’s student health service. “The standards we must meet to be accredited are the gold standard for ensuring excellence in student care. We are in an elite group of student health providers across the nation to be accredited. Only 200 colleges or universities are accredited by AAAHC.”
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.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.