Most surgeries today are done on an ambulatory basis, which means that they do not require an overnight stay.
These surgeries are usually performed in free standing ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), also known as outpatient clinics, and increasingly in office-based surgical facilities.
Patients often prefer these facilities over traditional hospital settings for better customer service, more invidualized care, more comfortable facilities, convenience, and often lower cost.
“Unfortunately, most facilities across the country and internationally do not have accreditation or state licensing, nor is it required by many states or countries,” said Dr. Robert Singer, La Jolla, California plastic surgeon, clinical professor of plastic surgery at University California San Diego and prominent leader of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).
To assure safety, facilities should be accredited by one of the nationally-recognized accrediting organizations such as AAAASF, the Joint Commission (JACHO) or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
There is extensive published data that procedures performed in AAAASF accredited facilities have equal or better safety records than those performed in hospitals.
For those considering ambulatory surgery, Singer recommends these five things to keep in mind in terms of safety.