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Powder River Surgery Center Receives Accreditation

Powder River Surgery Center (PRSC) has achieved a 3-year accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC). Status as an accredited organization means PRSC has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation, and not all undergoing the on-site survey are granted accreditation. Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC 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. AAAHC’s accreditation rating system scores compliance with standards as Substantially Compliant (SC), Partially Compliant (PC) and Non-Compliant (NC). All the ratings received by PRSC were SC, the third time they have received a ‘perfect’ score.

"Going through the accreditation process challenged us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to our patients and the quality of care we provide," said Michelle Kioschos, PRSC Manager and an AAAHC surveyor herself.

Michelle has been an AAAHC surveyor for several years, and says it gives her the opportunity to see what other facilities are doing and bring those good ideas back to PRSC.

"When we received a perfect score on our survey three years ago, I was given an application to become a surveyor," said Michelle, I did ten surveys last year, have done three this year and have three more scheduled. It helps us get a good score and makes our staff better too."

She believes in the AAAHC philosophy of making the survey process an educational experience.

"Most of the time the staff knows the answer to the surveyor’s question," said Michelle. "Sometimes people get nervous, and I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable when I conduct a survey. I’ve been in that position myself as a surgery center manager."

AAAHC accreditation is specifically for organizations that provide diagnostic or medical care on an outpatient basis—where an overnight stay might not be required. PRSC has also been Medicare certified since 2004, and all staff are ACLS or PALS certified. Not all ambulatory surgery centers require this additional training, but PRSC believes it is important for patient safety to exceed both Medicare and AAAHC standards.