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PUSH Receives Recognition for Quality of Care, Commitment to Improvement

PUSH building exterior

Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) recently received national recognition for its commitment to continuous improvement while maintaining high standards.

PUSH was honored with a Kershner QI Award, presented by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), which recognizes AAAHC-accredited organizations that successfully implement meaningful changes in their operations to boost quality of care, patient safety and overall efficiency. AAAHC is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with more than 6,100 organizations accredited.

PUSH received recognition for its work to improve immunization processes in its “Immunization Error Quality Improvement Study,” which PUSH staff submitted to AAAHC for consideration. PUSH used data analysis to identify causes of immunization errors and implemented a multifaceted solution that included staff communication and education, review of electronic medical records, flow charts, inventory tracking and oversight protocols. The changes reduced immunization error rates by 74 percent.

Improving immunization was an area identified for improvement by PUSH administration due to the high volume of immunizations administered and their direct impact on students. PUSH staff members say that it is not unusual for the organization to administer 400 or more shots in a single, eight-hour work day. The study included a review of patient records spanning the last several years and ongoing work to continuously review data and procedures.

“The biggest thing we can see is that the safety in the level of care we provide is significantly increased,” says Karla Sigo, assistant director of nursing. “The documentation is more accurate and that also leads to increases in patient safety.”

The immunization study is one of numerous ongoing efforts to continuously improve experiences and outcomes for patients at PUSH.

“Our quality management committee meets every month to look at a range of data that helps us focus our studies and where we want to put our efforts,” says Gail Walenga, director of PUSH. “We’re continuously looking at trends, having conversations, assessing our thought processes, looking at opportunities for additional training and other ways we may need to reassess what we’re doing.”

Antibiotic stewardship is an ongoing process that requires constant review of trends and thought processes not only at PUSH, but in the healthcare community at large. Prior reviews have led to additional training with new radiology equipment. There are ongoing efforts to ensure that patients are being properly educated on resources available to them and ways they can work to improve their health and well-being.

“We’re reviewing the education that we provide students at discharge to make sure that they know what they need to do to maintain their health and well-being,” says Jamie Jackson, director of nursing. “We’re working to align these messages with Steps to Leaps, which very important to us.”

Efforts to review and improve processes are consistent with the standards PUSH has had to maintain to receive accreditation from AAAHC, which PUSH earned in 2019. The accreditation process includes a thorough review of all PUSH processes to ensure that patients are receiving the highest level of care possible, as well as a two-day inspection and review by healthcare professionals. The process reviews not only direct medical care, but areas such as facility care and custodial staff, business office practices, insurance, hiring and training practices, appointment scheduling and more. The accreditation process also included an extensive review of the physical therapy location in the France. A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center (CoRec).

Accreditation demonstrates that patients can expect the highest quality of care in every aspect of their experience with PUSH.

“Our vision is to put patients first,” Jackson says. “Everything we do is for the best outcome for our students and patients. Our goal is that they can focus on their education because they know we have every aspect of their healthcare covered.”

PUSH is located at 601 Stadium Drive. Individuals in need of care can schedule an appointment at PUSH by calling 765-494-1700, option 0, or through the Patient Portal

Learn more about PUSH by visiting purdue.edu/push.