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CMS inspections find infection control lapses in two-thirds of ASCs

A report [1] from the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections indicates that a pilot study of government inspections of ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) found roughly two-thirds of ASCs have infection control deficiencies.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted surveys at 68 ASCs in three states (32 in Maryland, 16 in North Carolina, and 20 in Oklahoma) between June and October of 2008 using the new survey tool [2] created in collaboration with the CDC. This survey worksheet became a routine audit tool for ASC inspections starting in October 2009. 

The pilot study found that 68% of the facilities had at least one lapse in infection control, and 18% had lapses in three or more of the five categories including hand hygiene and use of gloves, injection safety, equipment reprocessing, environmental cleaning, and handling of blood glucose monitoring equipment.

This table [3] indicates that handling of blood glucose monitoring equipment, safe injection practices, and equipment reprocessing were the most common lapses in infection control.

“ASCs are encouraged to review the new audit tool, related requirements, and evidence-based guidelines as part of efforts to ensure adherence to basic infection control and enhance patient safety,” the report concluded.

CMS surveyor Dawn McLane, RN, MSA, CASC, CNOR, will be conducting a detailed review of the CMS audit tool in the April 21st Webcast “Infection Prevention Survey Strategies for ASCs: Comply with CMS’ Conditions for Coverage [4].” She will be joined by infection prevention program specialist Libby Chinnes, RN, BSN, CIC, who will help participants build a compliant infection prevention program using¬† evidence-based best practices and current guidelines. Click here [4] for more info or listen to the audio clip below.

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