The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) today announced the launch of a new accreditation program for hospitals. The accreditation, which will focus on small hospitals located in rural, urban, and suburban regions in the United States, will be offered through the Accreditation Association for Hospital/Health Systems Inc. (AAHHS). AAHHS and AAAHC will have separate governing boards and function independently as operating entities of an umbrella organization, The Accreditation Association. The hospital accreditation will be launched as a pilot program in 2012.
“The movement to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other recent trends have led to more health systems reabsorbing primary care physicians and free-standing ambulatory care settings back into the hospital,” said John Burke, PhD, AAAHC president and CEO. “With our experience as the leader in ambulatory care accreditation, AAAHC saw an opportunity to improve patient care by offering a program that addresses both outpatient and inpatient hospital care and the ambulatory care offered by small hospital systems.”
“Our research suggests that health care providers desire and will benefit from our unique accreditation model, which focuses on practical, consultative and educational support and advice in a peer-based, interactive atmosphere,” said Jack Egnatinsky, MD, immediate past chair, AAAHC Board of Directors.
The AAAHS hospital accreditation program will:
- Evaluate health care services against nationally recognized standards of care
- Provide an educational, consultative program rather than a punitive approach
- Help develop the skills and competencies of hospital staff
- Offer opportunities for quality improvement based on survey observations and related best practices
- Include a peer-based on-site survey conducted by surveyors who themselves are hospital leaders
“AAAHC will operate independently of the hospital program to ensure that it will continue unhindered in what it does best, which is ambulatory health care accreditation,” Burke said.