Emergency management in ASCs — 6 considerations during the pandemic

ASCs should document their response to the COVID-19 pandemic clearly and comprehensively "to meet the requirements for risk management and survey purposes," according to Debra Stinchcomb, a senior consultant with BSM Consulting.

Ms. Stinchcomb advised ASC leaders to:

1. Update their hazard vulnerability analysis — an assessment of how various hazards could
affect the facility — to reflect risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Update the center's infection control risk assessment to include facility actions related to COVID-19.

3. Consider updating the center's emergency management plan to account for financial stability, supply shortages, furloughs and layoffs, and community needs.

4. Develop policies around appropriate personal protective equipment utilization, the environment of care, intubation and extubation for COVID-19 patients, and respiratory protection.

5. For delegations of authority, new cleaning products and updates to policies or procedures like the ones listed above, seek approval from the ASC's governing body.

6. Educate anyone entering the ASC on the most recent updates to COVID-19 protocols, and conduct spot checks to evaluate compliance.

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