5 things to know about ASC accreditation surveys

Accreditation can help ASCs gain an edge over competitors and aid in negotiations with payers. But undergoing an accreditation survey can be a daunting process.

Five things to know about ASC accreditation surveys:

1. Know the drill. Accreditation surveys can happen at any time, meaning an ASC must be prepared to meet requirements, according to Pinnacle III, an ASC management group. To prepare for a survey, ASCs should complete emergency and fire drills and have the documentation to show completion.

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 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."

Surveyors from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities weighed in on the key things they look for when conducting an ASC accreditation survey in the latest issue of The Ophthalmic ASC.

3. Pay attention to credentialing and privileging. Often looked over, privileging is a peer-review process conducted by an ASC's governing board that ensure all providers at the ASC are qualified to provide healthcare services. During a survey, surveyors will check records to evaluate whether all providers have had their credentials verified.

4. Practice effective documentation management. Surveyors look for written documentation to verify ASCs are meeting requirements. Use an accreditation body's standard manual to determine how documentation is organized to meet the documentation management requirement.

5. Don't forget about life safety, emergency management. Building safety requirements are just as important as clinical safety. Having adequate exit light placements, firewalls and testing power generators are common examples of overlooked building safety requirements.

More articles on accreditation:
The Joint Commission: How healthcare organizations can advance antimicrobial stewardship
8 ASCs receiving accreditation in 2019
Gastroenterology surgery center secures AAAHC accreditation

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