UW Student Health Service Receives AAAHC Accreditation

May 4, 2010

The University of Wyoming Student Health Service has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC/Accreditation Association).

"This accreditation distinguishes UW from many other student health services by providing a safe work environment and the highest quality of care to patients," says Dr. Joanne Steane, UW SHS director.

Accreditation means the UW Student Health Service has met nationally recognized standards for providing quality health care, set by the Accreditation Association. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all undergoing the on-site survey are granted accreditation.

"We believe our students deserve the best," Steane says. "When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that the AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means that we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest care possible."

Health care organizations seeking AAAHC accreditation undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by the Accreditation Association's expert surveyors - volunteer 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.

"Going through the process challenged us to find the best ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our first responsibility is to our students and the quality of care we provide," says Steane.

AAAHC accreditation is specifically for organizations that provide diagnostic or medical care on an outpatient basis - where an overnight stay is not required.

The UW Student Health Service provides comprehensive primary health care to eligible students. It began as a single nurse operation in the Half Acre Gym in 1928. It now is staffed by medical professionals including four physicians, a nurse practitioner, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, a consultant orthopedist, nurses, pharmacists, and business and clerical staff.

AAAHC, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with more than 4,500 organizations accredited nationwide. It serves as an advocate to provide high quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs.

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