ASCs can improve quality in three key ways, according to Marta Shultz, vice president of quality for Simplify ASC.
Note: Responses have been edited for style and clarity:
Question: For ASCs looking to improve quality, where would you recommend they start?
Marta Schultz: I like to see people assess their current practices first. If you send satisfaction surveys, are you getting any negative feedback? Can you compare any of the data you collect to national benchmarks to see where you have a slight (or large) deficit? What have been your last 10 incidents reported? I think many times people try to go after what’s hitting the news versus knowing or identifying their own areas for improvement.
Q: Can you touch on the changing landscape of ASC quality reporting? How did the industry get to this point, and where does it go from here?
MS: This is a big one. ASC quality reporting has lagged on the CMS front behind hospital reporting requirements. However, CMS is working to integrate the hospital outpatient standards and ASC reporting standards. Sometimes this is a good fit; sometimes it requires jamming a round peg into an oval hole. The main takeaway? This is not going away. As more extensive and expensive procedures move into ASCs, the focus on quality of procedures for CMS and as a competitive edge is going to increase.
Q: What would you say are the financial implications associated with ASC quality measures?
MS: There are studies that show the dramatic increase to costs with infections and complications or adverse events. I don’t know that anyone has really looked at the cost to reputation and to scheduling when there is an adverse event or infection. In these days of social media, having an adverse event can hit the bottom line quickly without ever having a “published” verdict. There is also the flip side for facility cost to gather information and report for ASC quality measures. It’s so important that data be gathered at point of contact in order to save that time and also be available to manage any adverse events.
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