Five experts shared their tips on quality improvement for ASCs with Becker's ASC Review:
1. Envision Healthcare's Dr. Gerald Maccioli:
"Patient engagement is critical in ASCs and across the entire spectrum of healthcare delivery. We know that meaningful and effective communication with patients throughout their care journey is essential, and ASCs are already leveraging technology to enhance communication with patients."
2. Simplify ASC's Marta Shultz:
"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."
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."
3. Gina Calder, Bridgeport (Conn.) Hospital's vice president of ambulatory services:
"Embracing and reinforcing a safety culture is key. At Bridgeport Hospital, we practice 200 percent accountability, and team members crosscheck one another if they are not following expected hand-washing practices. Our medical director of infection prevention and control launches promotional and educational campaigns that reinforce the importance of hand- washing."
4. Robin Williamson, RN, associate director of clinical services and infection prevention for Stony Point Surgery Center in Richmond, Va.:
"It's good to start with the basics, such as due diligence with hand hygiene, sterile technique, environmental cleaning, proper decontamination and sterilization of instruments. People sometimes forget that it's helpful to limit the time prior to surgery and the time postsurgery because the more time that passes, the more chance for an infection. Lastly, ensure that your onboarding process for new employees takes the time to include infection-prevention training and policies."
5. Northwestern Medicine nursing manager Lynn Nolan:
"ASCs are a rapidly changing environment, and effective throughput is one of the most important factors in ensuring efficient, high quality and cost-effective care. Analytic data is necessary and something often thought of after implementing process improvement. I would recommend identifying your specific metrics and then having analytic data in place to evaluate the effectiveness of process change."