AAAASF approves Surgical Standards Version 14
Tom Terranova, MA – AAAASF Director of Accreditation

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities is pleased to announce the approval of the AAAASF Surgical Standards Version 14. This edition of the standards represents the culmination of the dedicated work of volunteer clinicians to distill patient safety data, healthcare trends and comments provided by accredited facility personnel and surveyors into an improved manual that continues to serve the AAAASF mission of patient safety.

AAAASF encourages all facilities to review the new manual carefully to ensure continued compliance with all standards. AAAASF does not grandfather existing facilities to exempt them from new requirements, and your continued 100 percent compliance sets AAAASF accreditation apart as the Gold Standard. Careful attention to standards revisions in the pre-survey period will be even more valuable than usual for avoiding deficiency citations and the headaches that can accompany corrective action.

Addressing the risk of VTE
One noteworthy revision is Standard 100.010.005, which requires screening protocols for venous thromboembolism risk factors. This standard originated from the peer review and unanticipated sequelae reporting system in which every accredited facility participates. Data indicates that the most prevalent major risk facing a patient in an accredited facility is VTE. By adding this standard, AAAASF aims to increase patient safety and demonstrate more conclusively that surgery in an accredited ambulatory surgery facility is safe and appropriate. This revision is a triumph of the AAAASF accreditation program and a testament to each accredited facility's commitment to patient safety.

Implementation timeline
As the healthcare system wrestles with the concept of evidence-based medicine, AAAASF accredited facilities can be proud to be a decade ahead of the curve.

AAAASF will begin distributing Version 14 for use during self-evaluations and surveys in the first half of 2014. Please pay special attention to the materials that you receive with your next renewal for inclusion of the Version 14 standards. Version 14 does not apply to facilities participating in any of the AAAASF Medicare deeming, Procedural or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Programs. Thank you once again for continuing to participate in AAAASF accreditation.

From the AAAASF Standards Committee:
It has recently come to the attention of AAAASF that there may be a degree of confusion among accredited facilities and accreditation consultants as to the current AAAASF requirement for equipment inspection by a biomedical engineer. The Standards Committee would like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion.

The current AAAASF Surgical, Procedural, Oral and Maxillofacial, and Medicare Ambulatory Surgery Center programs all require at least annual equipment inspections performed by a biomedical technician (Standard 200.070.010 for Surgical, Procedural, and OMS; 200.060.010 for ASC). This requirement remains in force, and any facility that is not in compliance with the standard will receive a deficiency citation and require corrective action. AAAASF does not have any plans at this time to remove or reduce this requirement. Any advice to the contrary is mistaken and may call into question the expertise of anyone providing such counsel.

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