The Extra Importance of AAAHC Accreditation During COVID-19
Everyone expects high-quality and SAFE healthcare.
However, during these pre-vaccine days of COVID-19, the safety concerns are elevated. And rightly so.
So if you’re planning to visit a healthcare facility of any sort, you should understand the importance of AAAHC accreditation. It would be unwise to consider any facility that does to have this accreditation.
The Importance of AAAHC Accreditation
AAAHC stands for Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. With more than 6,100 accredited organizations, it’s the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation.
The association accredits a wide range of outpatient settings including ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery facilities, endoscopy centers, medical and dental group practices, community health centers, among others.
AAAHC advocates for high-quality health care through the development and adoption of nationally-recognized standards. Thus, accreditation through AAAHC demonstrates an organization’s commitment to provide SAFE services to its patients.
Requirements for Accreditation
There are certain guidelines and standards that organizations must perform and follow to maintain accreditation from AAAHC and they cover the entire gamut of the patient’s visit.
Before the patient even sets foot into the facility, the organization must pre-screen the patient for symptoms or high-risk exposure. They must also inform the patient to call ahead and discuss the need to reschedule their appointment if they develop any symptoms of a respiratory infection.
Upon arrival but before being admitted, patients are asked about a personal history of fever, sore throat, cough or other respiratory symptoms, as well as similar symptoms in family members or close contacts. They will also be asked about contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or any recent travel to a high-risk area.
Temperature is also taken upon arrival. AAAHC accreditation prohibits ANY individuals, both employees and patients, from entering the facility if they are experiencing elevated temperature or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. This applies to both patients and staff.
Keeping Everyone Safe
In addition, all visitors, including vendors, are actively assessed for fever and respiratory symptoms upon entry to the facility. If fever or respiratory symptoms are present, it is the responsibility of the organization to inform these visitors that they are not to be allowed entry.
Once healthy, non-symptomatic patients and visitors are admitted, they are separated 6 feet apart. The organization is required to provide supplies such as tissues, alcohol-based hand rub, and trash cans. They must also encourage frequent hand washing.
AAAHC accreditation requires the facility’s staff to partake in education and active surveillance consistent with WHO, the CDC and other nationally recognized guidelines for hand hygiene.
Requirements for Healthcare Workers
Accreditation stresses the necessity of keeping healthcare workers protected from biologic hazards consistent with state, federal, and CDC guidelines.
AAAHC accreditation ensures that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks, eye shield/goggles, face shields, and gowns are available and worn by healthcare providers.
It also requires that the healthcare provider is educated and trained and has practiced the appropriate and correct use of PPE, including proper application and removal. Safeguards are in place to protect patients and others from cross-infection. Written policies address the proper attire of all persons entering operating or procedures rooms.
Only essential personnel – those authorized to perform or assist – are permitted in the operating rooms.
Continuity of Care
To maintain AAAHC accreditation, organizations are advised to consider phone follow-up for all patients 7–14 days post procedure to ask about the development of symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19. If these have occurred, they must have contingency plans in place.
Finally, in the ongoing battle to stay safe and protected during this pandemic, the organization is required to conduct frequent educational meetings, including refresher training, for staff regarding infection prevention and other related precautionary practices.
Only Consider Accredited Facilities
It’s clear the importance of AAAHC accreditation if you’re planning to have any surgical procedure. It’s very much in line with ensuring you have a board-certified plastic surgeon.
You can feel confident in knowing that we have both, and will always put your safety and care first during this pandemic, and beyond.
So contact us today to set up your free consultation. And move into the summer season with renewed confidence.