3 ASC accreditation insights from experts

Three accreditation experts weighed on accreditation challenges and opportunities in interviews with Becker's ASC Review.

Three key insights:

1. Prepare for emergencies. In April, the Joint Commission released its list of the top 10 most challenging ambulatory and office-based surgery standards for 2018. Pearl S. Darling, executive director of Ambulatory Care Services for the Joint Commission, spoke with Becker's ASC Review about what makes these standards so challenging.

"ASC administrators may not be familiar with the latest requirements and updates to [emergency readiness standards]. Fire protection systems include all fire safety equipment and building features that goes well beyond just checking fire doors. The same goes for emergency management. For deemed ASCs, the CMS emergency management final rule added additional requirements with which many are not familiar. Development of a checklist that includes all these requirements and a calendar for frequency of required testing and maintenance would be very beneficial."

2. Sweat the 'small' stuff on infection control. There are no small details when it comes to infection prevention and control, according to Naomi Kuznets, PhD, vice president and senior director of the AAAHC.

"Even what some may consider small, in fact, present significant issues and have an impact on morbidity and mortality rates. Other specific areas where a detail within a process may be overlooked include practicing hand hygiene, placement and proper use of sharps containers, allowing for adequate drying time after use of alcohol to disinfect a site and safe storage of medications," Dr. Kuznets told Becker's ASC Review. "These are just a few; there are many more 'small' steps which, if not addressed, could easily lend themselves to big problems."

3. Share the workload. Tess Poland, RN, MSN, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care's senior vice president of accreditation services, weighed in on the importance and significance of AAAHC's advanced orthopaedic certification in the increasingly crowded ASC market, as well as how to achieve the certification.

"Assign different tasks to your core leaders to oversee. Also, make sure you can pass a comprehensive assessment of your processes, policies and procedures, as well as anything else related to the certification standards. Once you've done that, develop an action plan and commit to weekly progress meetings until compliance in all standards has been achieved. That's important because this program raises the bar for quality of care and patient outcomes."

More articles on accreditation:
3 things to know about the Calloway Creek Surgery Center
3 things to know about the Joint Commission's new antimicrobial stewardship requirements
3 things to know about Windward Surgery Center

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