Quality reporting on the ASC side
As outpatient surgical care has shifted from hospitals to alternative locations, the patient safety and quality regulations and the cost and quality reporting requirements have not moved into that setting, says Ellen Pryga, director of policy for the American Hospital Association in Washington, DC.
"We need to get to a place where we have comparable standards and requirements for comparable services, regardless of the services and where they are provided," Pryga says.
Many leaders in the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) field agree. An ASC Quality Collaboration has been formed to identify specific measures for quality appropriate to ASCs. "This group, the ASC Quality Collaboration, strongly endorses the vision that measures of quality which are appropriate to ASCs should be congruent with measures utilized for other outpatient surgery settings," according to a publication put out by an ASC coalition that includes the Federated Ambulatory Surgery Association and the the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (AAASC).1
The group is working with the National Quality Forum to achieve consensus on the proposed quality measures, according to the coalition. In fact, the coalition just submitted a list of quality measures for consideration, according to Craig Jeffries, executive director of the AAASC. They are in the process of establishing a technical advisory group," Jeffries says. "They will review and recommend to the forum board whether to adopt those ASC-specific standards."
- ASC Coalition. Ambulatory Surgery Centers — A Positive Trend in Health Care; 2006.