New Standards Developed for Procedural (Non-Surgical) Ambulatory Facilities

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The new "Procedural Standards," as our "Regular Standards", feature a user-friendly checklist format, board certification, hospital privileges, peer review/quality improvement, anesthesia requirements and core principal adherence. They are intended for ambulatory facilities performing procedures under sedation which would include gastroenterologists, urologists, gynecologists, pain management physicians, and others.

Several patient safety issues and state regulatory initiatives in outpatient surgery throughout the nation have once again thrust facility accreditation into the news spotlight, and as a result, AAAASF has experienced an increase in demand for the accreditation of gastroenterology, endoscopy and fertility clinics.

"The increased awareness of the importance of accreditation in ensuring patient safety has created a need for us to customize our standards to fit that specific niche demand. Since physicians working in these types of facilities do not perform surgery in the operating room as we have accredited in the past, we felt compelled to address them directly," says Alan Gold, M.D., AAAASF President.

"As AAAASF began to attract a more diverse mix of specialties interested in our program, we could see that we needed to address specific procedures and create new standards. Also, since our standards evolve as a "living document, we will continually refine them in accordance to patient safety and developing medical trends," says Standards Committee Chair, Harlan Pollock, M.D.

The new "Procedural Standards," as our "Regular Standards," feature a user-friendly checklist format, and include requirements for board certification, hospital privileges, peer review/quality improvement, anesthesia requirements and core principal adherence. They are intended for ambulatory facilities performing procedures under sedation which would include those by gastroenterologists, urologists, gynecologists, pain management physicians, and others.

With the enactment of the New York legislation requiring office-based facility accreditation, we have seen an influx of applications originating from that state. Also, the high concentration of office-based facilities in the city of New York has led us to review the OR space requirement, which we were able to modify without compromising patient safety. "AAAASF strives to remain a program created by physicians for physicians to advance patient safety in the ambulatory environment. We offer a concise program that can serve as a terrific educational experience for facility staff, and while outside consultants may be helpful and preferable for some, the majority of our applicants complete the process on their own," says Dr. Pollock.

The deadline to get accredited in New York is July 14th, 2009!

For a PDF version of our new Procedural Standards, visit http://www.aaaasf.org.

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JAIME TREVINO
AAAASF
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