The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has funded a 12-month national patient safety collaboration in which ambulatory surgery centers and hospital outpatient surgery departments are participating.  AMSURG is proud to have 10 of its centers who are voluntarily participating.   All ten centers have made a 12-month commitment and have named an implementation team who will be responsible for carrying out the program. Kathy Wilson, VP of Quality for AMSURG, is serving as the “Consortium Lead” for the AMSURG center teams.
The pilot program consists of a series of educational offerings, many of which are provided by faculty from the Harvard School of Public Health.  The tools that will be utilized in the centers include an enhanced safety checklist, new communication techniques to be used by the surgical team, evidence-based team participation methods, and safety culture assessment and enhancement.  This is the first organized effort of this magnitude to be conducted in the ambulatory surgery setting.
Expected outcomes from this program include: Improved patient safety culture, enhanced teamwork and communication, improved customer satisfaction, and reduction in surgical site infections and other complications.  Outcomes data is being collected by each center on a monthly basis and shared with the program.  In addition, each center will report on their activities on a weekly basis.  In-person meetings will be held twice during the 12-month period in order to share learnings across the program.   Based on the results of the first year’s activity, the program may be extended to other centers within AMSURG.
AMSURG’s participation in this groundbreaking effort came about as a result of AMSURG’s involvement with the ASC Quality Collaboration.  This group has been in place since 2006 for the purpose of developing quality measures specific to ASCs.  Phillip Clendenin, Executive VP, serves on the Board of Directors and Kathy Wilson is currently the Chairperson of the Technical Expert Group of the ASCQC.