If you are having surgery in a surgical suite instead of a hospital, it is a very good idea to make sure that your surgeon's suite or the ambulatory center you're using is accredited. Believe it or not, most ambulatory surgery centers are not accredited.
Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) that perform surgery that requires anything more than minor local anesthesia an/or minimal oral tranquilization must perform the procedure in a facility that is accredited by a national or state recognized accrediting agency/organization such as the AAAASF, AAAHC, CAAASF, or JCAHO. Certification means that the facility is up to proper standards and is peer reviewed to ensure patient safety. Basically, accreditation means that there is a system of checks and balances in place.
The AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) is the largest non-profit accrediting organization in the United States, and has been in business for over 30 years. They have accredited over 2,000 facilities.
The AAASF requires that surgeons performing procedures in the facility be board certified or board-eligible in an ABMS surgical or anesthesia specialty. NOTE: The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only plastic surgery board that is recognized by the ABMS. Only those procedures for which acute care hospital privileges are held may be performed within an AAAASF accredited facility. The AAAASF does not recognized podiatry or dental board certifications as qualifications.
The AAAASF program requires 100% compliance with all of the standards in order for the facility to be accredited.
State licensure of surgical facilities is not a requirement for AAAASF accreditation.
The JCAHO (Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) will not accredit a free-standing surgery center unless it is also licensed in the state when that state has licensure of surgery centers (not all states require licensing). However, the JCAHO will accredit an office-based surgery facility.
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The AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care) is a non-profit organization. It has been in business since 1979 to assist ambulatory health care organizations in improving the quality of care provided to patients.
Accreditation by the AAAHC requires state licensure of the facility, review of patient satisfaction, report carding, professional continuing education, pre-discharge evanulation by a physician, separate recovery space, among other things.
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The Canadian Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities is a non-profit organization. Their requirements are based on the type of surgical facility, some of which offer local anesthesia, local anesthesia and conscious sedation, and general or regional anesthesia.
All three types of facilities have some common standards. Some of them include an FRCSC surgeon must be in charge of the entire operation, health tests for employees should meet the standards of Canada's Public Hospitals Act, technicians in teh operating room must be certified by recognized standard, and all personnel must have full knowledge of surgical procedures and asepsis and be approved by a qualified surgeon, and all tissue and/or material removed during surgery should be sent for examination by a pathologist. These are just some of the standards and requirements of the AAAHC.