The settings where people undergo surgeries and other medical procedures have experienced a profound shift. Now it’s time for safety and quality reporting to catch up.
More than 60 percent of surgeries in the United States today are performed in hospital outpatient centers or Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). The movement of these medical procedures from inpatient to outpatient could potentially reduce costs for patients and purchasers and offer greater convenience — as well as fewer facility acquired infections.
As financial incentives are put in place to encourage increased use of same-day surgery at ASCs, we urgently need publicly available data about quality and safety in these settings.
That’s why in 2019 the Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center Survey was launched. Leapfrog also looks at Hospital Outpatient Departments in the Outpatient Procedures section of the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which closely aligns with the Leapfrog ASC Survey. This joint effort provides purchasers and consumers with information to compare the same procedure, whether offered as an outpatient hospital service or at an ASC, across a range of areas important to purchasers, employers, and patients.
The measures included in Leapfrog’s surveys are predicated on the latest science and are selected with guidance from scientific advisors at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety at Johns Hopkins Medicine as well as Leapfrog’s volunteer expert panels.
On June 15, I’ll be speaking in a Leapfrog webinar for ASC owners and health care purchasers to share the latest updates on the survey and discuss the value of participating in this data reporting initiative.
Leapfrog is also launching a national ASC Advisory Committee, which I will co-chair with Kathy Wilson, RN, Executive Director of the ASC Quality Collaboration. Kathy has more than 30 years of experience in the ambulatory care environment and extensive experience in ASC quality management and reporting.
The ASC Advisory Committee will advise on key issues related to ASC safety, quality, and efficiency to ensure that employers have the best available data for decision-making. We need dedicated members on our committee, and I urge those who are interested to nominate themselves or someone they know. Nominations will be accepted through June 16.
Fully transparent safety data reporting for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments is new, but critical to patient safety and quality. I urge all those involved or practicing at these facilities to consider applying to join the committee; sign up for the webinar to hear the latest information; and participate in the survey. If you are not directly involved with an ASC, please encourage the ASCs in your network, or those who serve your members, to participate in the survey. In 2020, we had 100 percent hospital participation in the Leapfrog hospital survey. Right now, we have just 2.2 percent ASC participation. Patients, consumers, and purchasers in New Jersey are counting on all of us to improve the availability of data around ASCs. Together, we have work to do.