The Leapfrog Group's ASC survey — 7 things we know so far

The Leapfrog Group will collect quality and safety data on ASCs through a voluntary survey opening April 1, expanding its ratings beyond the hospital inpatient setting.

Everything you need to know so far:

1. ASCs seem eager to report their value. After announcing the survey, The Leapfrog Group received "endless phone calls from ASCs wanting to make sure they were in that initial launch," President and CEO Leah Binder told Becker's ASC Review. It became clear the initial cap of 250 participants would be met "immediately," she said.

2. All ASCs can participate. The Leapfrog Group lifted the participation limit in late January. All 5,000-plus licensed ASCs in the U.S. are welcome to submit patient safety and quality information through Leapfrog's survey beginning April 1.

3. Leapfrog will collect setting-specific data. The ASC survey will seek data on facility information, staff members, procedure volume, patient safety practices, patient experience and more. Leapfrog's hospital survey will include a new section for data on hospital outpatient departments.

"We're used to the staffing and structure that hospitals have, since we've been reporting on hospital performance for almost 20 years, but we're learning more about the protocols and structures that are the norm for ASCs," Ms. Binder said. "We want to be aware of what ASCs typically do so that we are setting standards that make sense."

4. The survey is being developed with stakeholder input. Leapfrog is using feedback from individual ASCs and ASC organizations to frame the first survey. Leapfrog plans to refine questions based on input from a panel of physician and nurse experts. Ambulatory Surgery Center Association CEO Bill Prentice reached out to Leapfrog to discuss survey development and said he plans to remain engaged throughout the process.

5. Data on ASCs has historically been limited. An unbiased source of data is needed to protect patients, according to Ms. Binder. "For a very long time, we've known virtually nothing about the quality of ASCs, and that's frustrating to ASCs as well," she said. "When you're delivering an excellent service, you want people to know it, and you want to be rewarded for that in the marketplace."

6. Participants will receive benchmarking reports. Leapfrog also plans to publish a national report on the results of both outpatient datasets by fall 2019. For the 2020 surveys, Leapfrog will begin publicly reporting ASC and HOPD results.

7. Preparation starts now. Leapfrog is encouraging ASCs to register for the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network to report infection data for Leapfrog to later collect. Any ASCs without Medicare certification will need to register with NHSN in order to access Leapfrog's survey. ASCs can find instructions on how to register with NHSN here.

Do you plan to participate in the Leapfrog Survey? Let us know why. Email Angie Stewart at astewart@beckershealthcare.com.

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