When the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) begins their week long meeting in St. Louis on April 22, AmSurg Vice President for Facility Management and Construction Daniel Buehler will be there as a member of FGI and maybe more importantly a member of the Health Guidelines Revision Committee. However, Buehler wears more than just a FGI guideline changing hat; he also puts on an industry influencing hat with the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) along with his AmSurg hat providing guidance to the more than 235 centers his team supports. With all of these hats, Buehler has a unique opportunity to affect policy change from inside, outside and always with an eye on what makes the most sense for AmSurg centers.
Every four years, the not-for-profit FGI publishes revised guidelines for the design and construction of health care facilities. “FGI wanted AmSurg involved in its process because they didn’t have a lot of ambulatory care representatives,” Buehler said. These guidelines are then used by The Joint Commission, many federal agencies and authorities in 42 states as a code or a reference standard when reviewing, approving or accrediting newly constructed health care facilities.
After FGI issued a set of proposed changes recently, the ASCA created a task force of industry experts, lead by Buehler, to prepare a response. ASCA submitted those comments through FGI’s formal comment process in December 2012. “AmSurg not only had input into the guidelines within the committee process, we also had influence over the comments from the industry, which will affect the rules,” Buehler said.
One of the other benefits of Buehler participating in both the guideline creating and the industry comments on those new guidelines is he is aware of what changes will be coming and can ensure that AmSurg centers benefit form that early knowledge. “I know that the rules may be changing years in advance of when the change is to occur, so we can anticipate changes before they happen,” Buehler said.