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January 9, 2003

UWP Neighborhood Clinics get perfect score for accreditation

UW Physicians Neighborhood Clinics received an exceptional score of 100 percent in a reaccreditation survey performed by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). The clinics, located throughout Seattle, the Eastside and South King County, received the three-year maximum renewal period awarded by the AAAHC. During the last accreditation and survey in 1999, the Neighborhood Clinics also received the maximum renewal of three years and a 100 percent score.

In awarding another perfect score, AAAHC made no recommendations for changes, noted Dr. Tom Norris, associate dean of the UW School of Medicine and executive director and medical executive of the clinics.

“According to our AAAHC survey team, it’s very uncommon for an organization to receive two back-to-back perfect scores on an accreditation survey,” Norris said. “We really welcomed the survey as a constructive learning experience and feel that our patients are the ultimate beneficiaries from our participation in the program.”

“Accreditation underscores our commitment to providing the highest possible levels of quality care to the community we serve,” said Teresa Spellman Gamble, compliance officer and director of quality improvement, accreditation and credentialing for the clinics. “We value accreditation as a measure of professional achievement and quality of care, and we are pleased and proud to have our efforts recognized with this accreditation.”

The accreditation involved an extensive on-site survey of clinic facilities and services. The survey team, composed of outside physicians and health-care administrators, evaluated all aspects of patient care. A Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) surveyor participated in the survey process, as a part of the AAAHC-JCAHO reciprocal accreditation agreement.

AAAHC conducts its accreditation program on a national basis. Not all ambulatory health-care organizations seek accreditation, and not all receive favorable decisions. In a letter to the neighborhood clinics, AAAHC president Dr. C. William Hanke said, “The dedication and effort necessary for an organization to be accredited is substantial, and the UW Physicians Network is to be commended for this accomplishment.”

UW Physicians Neighborhood Clinics are located in Auburn, Belltown, Factoria, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent/Des Moines, Shoreline, and Woodinville. More information on the clinics is available at 1-800-826-1121 or on the web at http://www.washington.edu/medicine/uwpn/