Ambulatory Surgery Center

Preparing for Your Ambulatory Surgical Center Survey

7 min read

The inaugural survey is a key part of accreditation for Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). Whether your care center is new or just coming under fresh leadership, acing the inaugural survey will be critical to accreditation success. However, the survey continues to present administrative and compliance challenges for many ASCs. Between taking stock of current care levels and designing processes to meet accreditation standards, the process can be complex and stressful. The Joint Commission recently shared tips to help centers preparing for their inaugural survey understand what to expect and how to proceed. Here’s what we’ve learned from these tips and how UptimeHealth supports ASCs accreditation success.

Start with a mock internal survey

UptimeHealth has learned from multiple accrediting bodies that it is always recommended to conduct internal mock surveys. These should ideally be unannounced and include the involvement of a mock tracer so leadership can identify any non-compliance concerns before the real survey. A mock tracer will follow a patient from triage to discharge as a surveyor would during the real thing.

The Joint Commission also recommends appointing “chapter champions” that will have charge over each of the 14 chapters of their ambulatory care manual. Such delegation enables more granular compliance with the relevant standards and encourages more cohesive preparation.

While delegation is important, physicians should still be actively involved in the process. The Joint Commission notes, for instance, that anesthesiologists and surgeons can help evaluate:

  • The oversight of standing orders
  • Determining what items are stored on a crash cart
  • Patient selection criteria
  • Privileging
  • Emergency management decisions and policies
  • Process improvement activities

Learn from common citations

The Joint Commission notes that ASCs can benefit from reviewing frequent citations. According to the Commission, these often relate to Medication Management and Infection Control. For instance, frequently cited issues related to these areas include:

  • Deficient documentation pertaining to sterilizer biologic testing
  • Non-compliance with OSHA requirements while transporting used surgical instruments
  • Ordering two or more medications for the same indication

These two commonly-cited areas are easily monitored within UptimeHealth’s Task Management Tool. For example, as it pertains to the documentation of sterilizer biologic testing, UptimeHealth can provide a weekly reminder for the spore tests to be conducted on the sterilizer. We also enable electronic documentation through our log management system.

In fact, as our team continued to read through these tips shared by one of the Joint Commission’s reputable surveyors, we were amazed at how easily a majority of these issues can be seamlessly resolved with UptimeHealth across multiple locations.

Leverage on the material

The Joint Commission provides a 90-day electronic trial version of their standards so ASCs can start their preparation early. They strongly recommend taking advantage of this.

In addition, the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Ambulatory Care (CAMAC) presents helpful step-by-step information. They went ahead and outlined specific chapters that ASCs should evaluate, including Infection Control, Environment of Care, Record of Care, and Medication Management.

We note that UptimeHealth’s platform is specially designed to provide support across this broad range of requirements. We have taken the time to speak with ambulatory organizations and have built our platform features to address industry pain points. We have worked closely with organizations of all sizes to ensure each feature’s functionality is seamless across all requirements.

Enjoy the advantage of UptimeHealth

With the imperative of compliance with standards required by accrediting bodies such as the Joint Commission, UCA, and ACHC, why is it that a majority of organizations still choose to keep compliance tracking and monitoring so complicated?

The most likely reason is that many organizations do not know there is an easier way, and that’s why we’re here. UptimeHealth provides ASCs with the tools and support they need for successful accreditation outcomes.

If you would like to read more about the article we have referenced, you can find it here: Tips for Your First Ambulatory Survey

To read more about sterilization requirements, you can find more information here: Sterilization: Monitoring

Contact UptimeHealth today and start using the only platform that was made for ambulatory care to succeed in maintaining compliance across the board.

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