Seton Hall Health Services, an accredited organization of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) Institute, was one of two organizations that received the Bernard Kershner Innovations in Annual Quality Improvement Award.
The award is from the AAAHC Institute on Sept. 9 and was given to Health Services for quality advancement in studies in primary care.
The AAAHC accepts applications from primary care and ambulatory health centers, and chooses the winner of the award based on its respective health care programs. There are approximately 6000 AAAHC accredited health centers in the U.S. Some 200 of those are college health centers.
According to Teresa Conklin, Nurse Practitioner at SHU Health Services, this is the first time that Seton Hall has received this award.
“The purpose of the association is to promote and assist ambulatory health centers like our student health center to provide the highest quality achievable level of care that we provide for our patients,” Conklin said. “So I think that we’ve won the quality improvement award shows that we do
meet that standard at the highest level.”
Conklin credits the Health Services award to the Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program that they implemented this year. This program was put in place to help students in need of urgent care to make appointments go more swiftly.
“The program we developed incorporates evidence-based guidelines and recommendations by a national organization, the United States Preventative Service Task Force (USPSTF). And so we incorporated an alcohol screening and brief intervention program,” said Conklin.
“We adapted this guideline into the urgent care of our patients so that we can provide the best quality care for them. Now it is the standard of our care because we’ve incorporated that.”
To be an accredited organization, Seton Hall has to follow strict guidelines.
“The USPSTF guidelines are based on age, gender, and risk factors. Therefore, many of the guidelines are patient specific,” said Mary Elizabeth Costello, director of Health Services.
“The Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention guideline is applicable to all adults in primary care, which is why we incorporated a formal program in Health Services.”
Reflecting on who should be responsible for winning the award, Conklin believes that it was a team effort from all of the staff at Health Services, from front desk workers to nurses.
Although the award and its significance are a bonus to the program, Conklin says that the whole purpose of the program is to promote healthcare.
“It is an alcohol screening program, which is not only very applicable to the college population, but is very relevant to the general population. It is to promote health, healthy choices and healthy behaviors.”
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