UConn Student Health Services Achieves Prestigious AAAHC Accreditation

Nurse coordinator Kathleen Sanner discusses immunization with a patient at Student Health Services. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Nurse coordinator Kathleen Sanner discusses immunization with a patient at Student Health Services. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The University of Connecticut Student Health Services in Storrs has achieved a prestigious accreditation that recognizes its procedures and standards of care as being among the nation’s best.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) recently notified UConn Student Health Services that it had won re-accreditation, a distinction that came after an independent, external process of evaluating all aspects of its practices.

Only about 200 college health services nationwide receive accreditation from the association, which has recognized more than 5,000 organizations across the U.S. for meeting and exceeding nationally recognized standards for outpatient care.

“We believe our patients deserve the best,” says Michael Kurland, director of UConn Student Health Services. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

UConn Student Health Services first won accreditation in 1985, and has retained the distinction since then. The newest re-accreditation extends the AAAHC’s stamp of approval through November 2015.

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.

“Going through the process challenged us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to strive to continuously improve the quality of care we provide,” Kurland says.

The University’s Student Health Services provides primary care medical services as well as counseling and mental health services to students at the Storrs campus. Services include women’s health, laboratory, x-ray, pharmacy, nutritional services, inpatient (infirmary) care, and wellness services. Care is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days per week when school is in session.

Services are provided by board-certified physicians, advance practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners), psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals who are specialists in college health. Information about Student Health Services can be found at www.shs.uconn.edu.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation, with more than 5,000 organizations accredited nationwide.

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. The Association 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.