As part of the new Medicare quality reporting program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will ask ASCs if they used a safe surgical checklist for the entire 2012 calendar year and will then make this information public via the internet. While ASCs that answer “no” will not be financially penalized by CMS, having that “no” answer publicized may create concerns from potential patients or referring physicians.
To be able to answer “yes,” an ASC must have a safe surgical checklist in place as of January 1, 2012 and use it throughout the entire year. ASCs do not have to use a particular checklist. Any checklist may be used as long as it addresses effective communication and safe surgery practices in each of three perioperative periods where applicable: prior to administering anesthesia, prior to the start of a procedure and prior to the patient leaving the operating room.
The following organizations provide information and templates to help with the development of safe surgery checklists:
Is your ASC using a safe surgery checklist? Let ASCA know here. Responses will be kept confidential.
For more information, contact Jonathan Beal at email@example.com.