5 recent developments on ASC quality to know

Here are five things to know about ASC quality that Becker's ASC Review has covered in the last couple of weeks:

1. Quality improvement projects designed for inpatient hospital settings are often ineffective in ASCs without significant modification, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research. Researchers determined hospital outpatient departments are more similar to inpatient operating rooms than freestanding ASCs.

2. Colorado passed legislation requiring ASCs and hospitals to adopt policies preventing surgical smoke exposure. Surgical smoke comes from the destruction of human tissue by common surgical devices such as lasers and electrocautery knives. Prolonged exposure to the toxic gases, viruses and materials in surgical smoke can cause serious and deadly respiratory diseases.

3. A study from the American Hospital Association conducted by KNG Health Consulting found there were significant differences in patients treated in ASCs and hospital outpatient departments. In general, patients treated in outpatient departments were older and sicker than those treated in ASCs.

4. The Joint Commission outlined steps from its Speak Up to Prevent Infection Campaign to improve infection prevention in the ambulatory setting, including using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash hands, or to use soap and water when hands are visibly dirty.

5. The Leapfrog Group, an independent organization that evaluates healthcare safety, launched a survey evaluating ASC quality and safety April 1. Leapfrog invited all U.S. ASCs to report data to its inaugural ASC survey, which includes five categories of questions: basic facility information; medical, surgical and clinical staff; volume and safety of procedures; patient safety practices; and patient experience.

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