Slippery Rock’s Health Center received a three-year accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) last week, joining 6,000 other accredited facilities.
“Seeking accreditation is a voluntary process,” Kristina Benkeser, director of student health services, said in an SRU press release. “No regulatory agency makes us do it, nor is it tied to the department of health and human services or anything like that. In our case, we choose to do it.”
Facilities seeking AAAHC accreditation undergo a self-assessment and an on-site survey by surveyors, physicians, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care, the press release read. Not all healthcare facilities apply for accreditation and not all that apply are accepted.
Facilities are measured on 581 different standards with each standard rated as noncompliant, partially compliant or significantly compliant, the release continued. With an overall score of 99.3, the Health Center was “significantly compliant” in 577 of the 581 standards.
These standards are fluid, Benkeser added, noting that facilities must comply with changes in order to maintain accreditation.
“Receiving this accreditation is like getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for health care,” Benkeser said. “It means that we’ve met the AAAHC’s measures of quality.”
Jess Dowd, a junior Spanish and marketing double major, said the Health Center deserves more credit than it is given.
“Last month I was feeling pretty sick, so I went to the Health Center to see what they could do,” she said. “The workers were great and super helpful.”
Dowd said many students joke about the Health Center providing poor services, but that most experiences she has heard of have been positive.
According to their website, the AAAHC is a private nonprofit that develops standards to advance and promote patient safety.