KINGSTON, R.I. – March 20, 2017 — The University of Rhode Island today announced the Dr. Pauline B. Wood Health Services on the Kingston Campus has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with the commission’s nationally recognized standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.
“Fewer than 20 university health centers across the nation achieve this accreditation,” said Ellen Reynolds, Director of URI Health Services. “It’s the gold standard, and earning it is a key differentiator in the health care industry. If you walk into most physicians’ offices, they don’t achieve this level of accreditation.”
URI Health Services underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite survey on Dec. 14 and 15, 2016. During the review, a team of Joint Commission surveyors with expertise in ambulatory health care, evaluated the center’s compliance with ambulatory care standards in a variety of areas, including coordination of care, infection prevention and control, management of medications, and patient education and training.
Reynolds said the commission used a “tracer methodology” to ensure the center meets strict criteria for accreditation. In addition to a thorough examination of the facility and its equipment, Joint Commission reviewers followed patients from the time they entered the building all the way through discharge in an effort to uncover any systemic issues or deviations from the standards.
“URI Health Services is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” Reynolds said. “Staff from across the organization continue to work together to develop and implement approaches and strategies that have the potential to improve care for the students/patients in our community.”
The University received full accreditation for the Health Services Center, which is surveyed every three years, and its laboratory, which is surveyed every two years. Dr. Fortunato Procopio, director of Medical Services, said the school has received full accreditation for both facilities each year since first achieving the standard in the 1990s.
The Joint Commission’s ambulatory health care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.
“The reason these accreditations are so important is they help us continue our mission to serve a college population,” Procopio said. “We’re unique in that the people who work here understand college students and are able to provide better care than would be available at a regular community practice. It’s vital to have an organization on campus that can deliver the specific care a college community needs, and this kind of accreditation proves we do an excellent job of it.”