WMU News

Sindecuse Health Center receives national accreditation

Nov. 13, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's Sindecuse Health Center has been successful in its first attempt to earn accreditation from the American Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

The association, a nonprofit organization comprised of physicians and health care executives from a variety of specialty areas, sets national standards it considers essential to high-quality patient care.

"When statistics were last reported in 1996, only 60 health centers at U.S. institutions of higher education had achieved the association's accreditation," said Dr. Terry L. Baxter, director of the Sindecuse Health Center. "This puts us in an elite group.

"This achievement was a long time in coming and the entire health center staff worked diligently toward the goal," she continued. "Accreditation provides recognition for quality work. With it, WMU students and staff can be assured that we are in compliance with the highest national standards."

The association offers accreditation through a voluntary process that ambulatory heath care facilities can use to measure their performance against nationally recognized standards. Accreditation is awarded for either one or three years, depending on an organization's level of compliance with these standards. Sindecuse was awarded a three-year accreditation.

Baxter noted that the association's accreditation is a benchmark of quality for consumers. Because of the association's high standards, she explained, many HMOs, health insurance carriers and government agencies accept accreditation as meeting their requirements for reimbursement.

In addition, many professional liability insurance carriers acknowledge that accreditation is a valuable indicator of quality and they frequently consider it when evaluating an organization applying for coverage.

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