AORN Column Highlights Challenges of ASC Infection Prevention

By on 1:43 PM

A new column in ASC Insider, a newsletter published by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), discusses infection prevention challenges faced by ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) today.

The story is titled "Prioritizing Infection Prevention in ASCs: 5 Things to Know." It focuses on the following:
  • Migration of complex procedures into the outpatient setting
  • Challenges presented by more complex instrumentation
  • Increased scrutiny of healthcare-acquired infections by regulatory agencies
  • Financial ramifications
  • Importance of keeping current with infection prevention-related developments

As the story notes, "Until ASCs are resourced with a dedicated certified infection prevention professional, they will need support to ensure their surgical infection prevention programs are comprehensive."

Infection prevention in surgery centers is receiving increased attention from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal agencies, state agencies and national accreditation organizations.

In 2016, Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) published two special reports concerning ASC infection prevention: "Infection Prevention Violations in Ambulatory Surgery Centers" and "3 Common ASC Infection Prevention and Control Areas of Confusion." As one of the special reports noted, "... CMS and the accreditation organizations are particular about how much time is devoted to infection prevention. ICCS consultants visit many ASCs (and other providers) that are not allocating what will likely be deemed an appropriate amount of time, and this is likely contributing to infection prevention and control shortfalls."

Surgery centers struggling with infection prevention and control or those looking for additional assistance in these areas are invited to contact ICCS. Its team of consultants provide a wide range of services for surgery centers, including development of infection prevention and control programs, assistance with meeting CMS requirements and accreditation standards, mock surveys, staff education, onboarding, and risk assessment. ICCS Founder and President Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, is a leading expert in ASC infection prevention and control. She is frequently asked to present at national and state ASC meetings, and is regularly published in ASC trade journals.

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.