Features  |   May 2013
Safety Update: Office-Based Surgery
Author Affiliations
  • Fred E. Shapiro, D.O
    Committee on Patient Safety and Education
Article Information
Ambulatory Anesthesia / Infectious Disease / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   May 2013
Safety Update: Office-Based Surgery
ASA Monitor 05 2013, Vol.77, 18-19.
ASA Monitor 05 2013, Vol.77, 18-19.
As a greater number of procedures continue to migrate to the outpatient sector, the complexity of office-based surgery and anesthesia, along with patient population, will increase commensurately. Furthermore, management challenges will be complicated by an aging population with chronic medical conditions. The capacity constraints at office-based practices imply that such facilities may not have the necessary preparation available to handle difficult procedures and patients.
There is an added issue of so-called “practice drift.” This is when clinicians who are board-certified in one specialty attend weekend seminars and training sessions so they can render services out of the scope of their specialty. These medical practitioners who perform office procedures would traditionally not be granted privileges to perform those same procedures in the hospital, especially if they are operating outside their specialty training. Although a hospital-based facility might not acknowledge such credentials, providers are able to practice beyond their scope in private offices. The divergence in credentialing requirements between hospital and ambulatory institutions continues to create uncertainty in the quality of care at office-based settings.
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