SDS Accreditation Update: Patient safety issues are the primary focus

Managers report patient safety goals are the primary focus of surveyors this year, says Lorri G. Smith, RN, BSN, director of clinical services accreditation specialist for AmSurg, a Nashville-based national company that manages or owns more than 120 single-specialty surgery centers.

"Medication management, the use of the do-not-use abbreviation list, and performance improvement activities related to patient safety are important," explains Smith, who didn’t have any centers that had undergone unannounced surveys at press time. With patient safety a priority, surveyors also are looking closely at expiration dates, says Donna Stewart, RN, CIC, administrator of the North Texas Surgery Center in Dallas.

"Be aware that any item with an expiration date must not be out of date," Stewart warns.

None of the facility’s medications were out of date, but some of the supplies that they didn’t even realize had expiration dates had expired, she exclaims. "We found that manufacturers are putting expiration dates on non-perishable items such as sutures, and those had expired," Stewart says.

After the survey, her staff started checking supplies as they were received and were surprised to find that some non-perishable items that now have expiration dates placed upon them were out of date upon receipt.

"We are watching our supplies very carefully when we receive them so that we don’t get surprised again," she says.


For more information on recent surveys, contact:

  • Donna Stewart, RN, CIC, Administrator, North Texas Surgery Center, 7992 W. Virginia Drive, Dallas, TX 75237. Telephone: (972) 283-2400. E-mail: