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AAAASF on Patient Safety in Outpatient Facilities

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Posted on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 | Medical

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) is a nonprofit organization that promotes patient safety in outpatient settings and has an accreditation program “to ensure the highest quality of patient safety” for office-based surgeries and procedures and oral maxillofacial procedures. 

In light of the recent highly publicized case involving an outpatient surgical facility, AAAASF wants to assure the public about patient safety in outpatient facilities. Dr. Geoffrey Keyes, AAAASF board president says, “Safety is our primary concern in delivery of outpatient surgical care. We constantly assess surgery center performance through the inspection process and Internet submitted data from our facilities to show outpatient facilities are safe and convenient for patients of all ages.”

AAAASF collects aggregate data on all adverse events that occur in its accredited facilities, which is stored in its data collection system. Its data of more than 12 million cases shows a low rate of mortality with an incidence of death in about one of 50,000 procedures performed. This incidence of death is mostly due to pulmonary embolism, a blood clot to the lung that can occur in any postoperative patient – regardless of whether the surgery was performed in a hospital or outpatient facility. Another high percentage of the deaths that occurred were in patients who died from their disease, unrelated to surgery, such as those patients who suffered from chronic renal failure. Deaths occurred intraoperatively at a rate of one in 478,000 procedures.

Keyes says the organizations accreditation standards for are designed to ensure safe care and that “Limiting outpatient surgery may not only needlessly raise costs and lower access but data shows it would not improve safety. Although there is always room for improvement, our data of more than 12 million procedures has demonstrated the efficacy of outpatient surgical care.”

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