As you may remember, three years ago Hope Pregnancy Ministries embarked on what would prove to be one of the most challenging, and beneficial, endeavors ever undertaken by this ministry. In a display of visionary leadership, the board of Hope made the decision to pursue accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), a nationally recognized body. The AAAHC was founded in 1979 to: “Encourage and assist ambulatory health care organizations to provide the highest achievable level of care for recipients in the most efficient and economically sound manner.” This is accomplished by a voluntary, peer-based, consultative and educational survey process for the purpose of advancing patient care. What did this mean for Clear Choice Clinic? How did accreditation make us better?
A well-established medical clinic, Clear Choice Clinic already displayed many characteristics of an exceptional medical practice. As we walked through the process of meeting over 550 standards of patient care necessary to achieve accreditation, it became obvious that, despite our greatest efforts, there were some shortfalls. If we were, indeed, passionate about providing quality care to our patients, it was clear that we had some work to do. Our ministry philosophy had always been, as representatives of Jesus, to strive for perfection whenever possible. And so, working tirelessly over a period of 8 months, the staff of Clear Choice Clinic made changes, both large and small, which dramatically increased the level of excellence of our clinic. These included improvements in the areas of: patient rights and responsibilities, governance, administration, quality of care, quality management and improvement, clinical records and health information, infection prevention and control, safety, and facilities and environment. Each area of focus caused us to look closely at our practice, and see how we were able (and required!) to make changes for the betterment of both our patients and our practice. This was an arduous and sometimes painful process, requiring humility, open-mindedness and perseverance…and it was totally worth it.
In August of 2014, an auditor from this independent third party spent two days at Clear Choice Clinic, examining our practice under the microscope of best practice, and determined that we had achieved the highest possible rating of 100% compliance. What an achievement! As the staff celebrated this milestone, the overriding sentiment expressed was pride in how much better we had become at caring for people well. This effort was well worth it.
Today, almost three years later, there is no doubt that we made the right decision. Clear Choice Clinic is better for the scrutiny it has endured, and our patients have benefitted exponentially from the improvements. A concerted effort has been made to continue to meet and exceed AAAHC standards, and Clear Choice is well-prepared for our reaccreditation survey, scheduled for August of this year. Looking forward, we’re convinced that providing excellent care for every man and woman we serve will continue to change hearts and lives, and that God’s love will be shown to our patients in a way that says, “You matter.” Because they do. And we’ve definitely proven that through this process.