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New Jersey health commissioner introducing mandatory adverse event reporting for surgery centers — 5 insights

At his confirmation hearing, New Jersey's new Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, MD, said he'd soon introduce a mandatory adverse event reporting requirement for all surgery centers, including one-room facilities not licensed by the Department of Health, reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. Dr. Elnahal is implementing the adverse event reporting system to "make quality improvements, so those things don't happen in the future."

2. New Jersey has approximately 300 ASCs or standalone surgery centers. According to, fewer than half of the centers are licensed by the health department, but recently passed legislation will soon require all centers to be licensed.

3. The health department is in the process of notifying all centers about the licensing and adverse event reporting processes.

4. Dr. Elnahal said the goal of reporting adverse events, "is not to punish the centers or their staff, but to improve safety and the quality of care." The reports will remain confidential, but must include an analysis of the cause.

5. As a result of the new measures, every center in the state will be subject to inspections. The health department is in the process of adding more staff to conduct the inspections as well.

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