AAAHC Adds Written Infection Control Risk Assessment as 2016 Standard

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The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) will require accredited organizations to complete a written infection prevention risk assessment for 2016.

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are becoming increasingly more scrutinized for infection prevention practices and expectations, and requirements are very similar to those of inpatient facilities. This includes a formal infection prevention program, which includes the risk assessment as well as goals and objectives for patient safety.

As noted in the November issue of the accreditation organization's Connection newsletter, beginning in 2016, AAAHC Standard 7.I.B will include the requirement. The standard will appear in chapter seven of the AAAHC's Accreditation Handbook. The title of this chapter is "Infection Prevention and Control and Safety."

By requiring a written risk assessment, a facility can be found in violation of the standard if the assessment is not undertaken or incorrectly addressed as there are specific components to it. AAAHC does not specify how the risk assessment must be completed. The assessments are individualized according to various factors, including, but not limited to, size and location of the ASC, services provided and population served. In addition, there are several methods to determine risk.

AAAHC is a private, non-profit organization formed in 1979. It currently accredits more than 6,000 organizations in a variety of ambulatory health care settings, including ASCs, community health centers, medical and dental group practices, medical home practices, and managed care organizations, as well as Indian and student health centers, among others.

If your organization requires assistance with developing an infection prevention risk assessment that will meet AAAHC or other regulatory and accreditation requirements, contact Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS). ICCS, comprised of a team of infection prevention experts, provides a wide range of infection prevention and control services, including on-site facility visits and audits, assistance with survey preparation, development of corrective plans of action, development of customized infection prevention programs and educational programs.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.