Consumer Reports: 5 things to know about safety in ASCs

Consumer Reports listed some considerations patients should take to ensure ASCs can perform certain procedures safely.

Here are five things to know:

1. A surgeon's experience plays a large part in an outpatient procedure's overall safety. The report says for a hip or knee replacement, the surgeon should ideally have performed at least 50 of these procedures in the past year and boast a 3 percent or less complication rate. Recent research finds the learning curve for laparoscopic hysterectomies' is 100 procedures.

2. Patients should assess whether they are a prime candidate for surgery. Older patients and those with comorbidities may not be well-suited for outpatient surgery. A 2013 University of Michigan study found nearly 1 in 1,000 patients experienced substantial complications within 72 hours following a procedure at an ASC or hospital outpatient department.

3. Some procedures have higher complication rates in an outpatient setting, such as prostatectomies and hernia repairs. A 2015 study published in JAMA found anterior cruciate ligament repair and spinal surgery had low complication rates in ASCs.

4. Consumer Reports suggests patients ask an ASC staff member if the center is Medicare-certified if the ASC is not affiliated with a hospital.

5. Following a procedure, the report suggests patients follow a series of steps including:
● Obtain written discharge instructions
● Ensure your vitals are stable
● Have a home support system
● Be specific during the follow-up call about your symptoms

More articles on quality and infection control:
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7 things to know about over-the-counter analgesics

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