In the Nov. 17 edition of the ASCA Government Affairs Update, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association is reminding ASCs that CMS is expecting them to use a safe surgical checklist for the entire 2012 calendar year as part of the new Medicare quality reporting program.
To be able to state they have used a safe surgical checklist in 2012, ASC must have such a checklist in place as of Jan. 1, 2012, and use it throughout the entire year. Whether an ASC uses a safe surgical checklist for 2012 will be made public by CMS via the Internet. ASCs that do not use a safe surgical checklist for the entire year will not be financially penalized by CMS, but ASCA notes that having that a no response publicized may create concerns from potential patients or referring physicians.
CMS does not require a particular checklist. "Any checklist may be used as long as it addresses effective communication and safe surgery practices in each of three perioperative periods where applicable: prior to administering anesthesia, prior to the start of a procedure and prior to the patient leaving the operating room," according to the ASCA Government Affairs Update report.
ASCA notes that the following organizations provide information to help with developing safe surgery checklists: World Health Organization, AORN and SafeSurg.org.