ASCs Must Use Surgical Checklist in 2012
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is calling on all ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) to use a safe surgical checklist. CMS’s new Medicare quality reporting program will require all Medicare-certified ASCs to report whether or not they used a “safe surgery checklist” in 2012. No financial penalties will be given if an ASC does not comply with the requirement; however, CMS plans to make reports available to the public that indicate whether an ASC complied with the requirement. ASCs will be subject to financial penalties associated with this requirement in future years.
In CMS’s original communication about this requirement, ASCs were instructed that they must use a checklist as of January 1, 2012 in order to answer “yes” to checklist use in their annual report to CMS. However, in May 2012, CMS published the ASC Quality Reporting Measures Specifications Manual, which indicates, “ASCs that used a safe surgery checklist based on accepted standards of practice at any time during 2012 can answer “yes” when they report whether they used a safe surgery checklist during the year.”
ASCs do not have to use a particular checklist in order to meet the requirement; however, CMS does require the use of a checklist that focuses on communication and safe surgery practices in each of three perioperative periods (where applicable): (1) the period prior to the administration of anesthesia, (2) the period prior to skin incision, and (3) the period of closure of incision and prior to the patient leaving the operating room.
Organizations providing information and checklist templates
Oregon IHI Network - Safe Surgery Checklist (adapted for hospitals from the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist)