Ambulatory Surgery Centers


The ambulatory surgery sector is experiencing major growth throughout the United States. With increasing numbers of patients receiving treatment at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and with treatment becoming more complex, the risk of acquiring infections as a result of admission also increases.

Federal, state and accreditation regulations and standards are continuing to challenge ASC infection prevention and control programs as ASCs lead hospitals in the number of procedures performed annually. Facilities are expected to implement and report several infection prevention core measures developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and meet standards from their accreditation organization (e.g., AAAHC and The Joint Commission).

New compliance developments have put ASCs increasingly in the spotlight. The Joint Commission recently announced a new standard that addresses antimicrobial stewardship for acute and long-term care. Compliance with this standard will be expected from ASCs as the need for management of antibiotics continues. ASCs are expected to report a 50% reduction of antibiotic use by 2020. 

Issues with reprocessing of endoscopes over the past few years has resulted in a major focus on general reprocessing, including that of instruments, scopes and reusable items for surgery. ASCs are closely scrutinized during surveys to ensure compliance with cleaning, disinfection and sterilization.

ASC Infection Prevention & Control Services

Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) specializes in infection prevention practices for ASCs nationwide. The team of ICCS consultants has successfully help facilities prepare for and pass Medicare and accreditation surveys through mock CMS surveys utilizing the surveyor worksheet to satisfy the requirements of CMS Conditions for coverage (i.e., 42 CFR 416.51). Mock surveys are performed by conducting on-site visits with observation and assessment of perioperative best practices in the following areas:

  • Holding and pre-op

  • Within the operating room (OR) suite during a procedure

  • Central reprocessing

  • Sterile supply room

  • PACU

  • Environmental cleaning between cases

  • Surgical attire

  • Hand hygiene/scrub technique

  • Skin prep

Other services provided to ASCs include the following:

  • Assistance with meeting accreditation standards (AAAHC and The Joint Commission)

  • Development of infection prevention and control written programs

  • Assistance with surveillance for post-operative surgical site infections (SSIs)

  • Assistance with regulatory and accreditation deficiencies, including corrective action plan development

  • Educational programs for staff during visits or via webinar/audio conferences

  • Follow-up visits

If you are interested in improving your ASC's processes and procedures and would like to learn how ICCS can help, please contact us for a complimentary telephone consultation.