The Accreditation Association for Hospitals/Health Systems (AAHHS) in Skokie, IL, recently presented its inaugural accreditation certificate to Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital in South Dakota.

Customized for rural hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAH), and hospitals with fewer than 200 beds, the accreditation program involves a peer-based survey process.

Donald Schellpfeffer, MDA, CEO for Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital, said, “The collaborative nature of the AAHHS survey was a huge differentiating factor for us. We’re excited to be the first hospital to earn AAHHS accreditation, and we’re confident that, with this accreditation, we are fully prepared for all reviews with the State Department of Health and well-positioned to continue offering quality healthcare to our patients.”

Since announcing its first accreditation certification in October, AAHHS has accredited several other organizations. Through resources, education, and training, AAHHS provides consultation and professional development that helps small and rural hospitals deliver care at nationally recognized standards, attract staff members, and compete against larger, metro hospitals.

AAHHS was created in 2012 by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). AAHHS and AAAHC have separate governing boards and function independently. AAHHS is working toward receiving deemed status from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.