Student Health Center earns prestigious national accreditation

The Student Health Center recently received a national accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, an organization that offers a peer-based review process for organizations to assess their healthcare delivery system against high-quality industry standards. This is the second time the center has received this accreditation, with the initial accreditation in 2019.

According to Student Health Center Director Shawn Gray, it evaluates the organization’s internal processes against national standards of care and determines where the organization fall in eight core areas of healthcare delivery.

“University health centers throughout the country apply for accreditation and currently, only 11% of them are accredited through AAAHC,” Gray said.

The accreditation process is a 1–2-year preparation process of reviewing, modifying and measuring internal processes against the standards set forth by the AAAHC, she explained. There are eight core areas all healthcare entities must meet and nine more if applicable to your health center, including the following: governance; administration; quality of care and improvement; clinic records and health information; infection prevention and control and safety; facilities/environment; health education; counseling and pharmacy services.

A representative then performs a two-day site visit of the clinic and all of its processes. The assessment of the site visit is submitted to a panel of reviewers to determine if the center met the standards.

“The staff was very excited and very proud of this accomplishment,” Gray said. “Everyone had a part to play in preparing for the site visit. Staff were assigned specific areas to review and revise as needed. They reviewed policies, implemented procedures and created workflow.”

The Student Health Center plans on maintaining its accreditation status, which requires continual assessment and improvement within the department. This means every three years, the center will go through the same site visit and internal audit by the AAAHC board.

“This accreditation validates the superior services we provide to students in areas of healthcare, counseling and health education,” the center director said. “It also perpetuates internal review processes, so we continue to grow and meet the student’s health related needs.”

In the meantime, the Student Health Center is awaiting the certificate of accreditation from the AAAHC board to have framed. A reception and open house celebration will be held at that time.