ASCA launched its second gener- ation clinical and operational bench- marking program in 2013, replacing the Outcomes Monitoring Project that the association offered previously, to help meet these objectives, Throne- berry says. In addition to providing participants with valuable data on their ASC’s clinical and financial outcomes, the new program helps them track Medicare’s quality reporting measures. Earlier this year, the program changed survey providers and plat- forms. The response has been encour- aging, Greenwich says. “We rolled out what we think is a new and improved platform that has been well received by our subscribers thus far.”

Benchmark to Provide Best Quality Care

ASCA’s second generation clinical and operational program offers apples-to-apples comparison BY ROBERT KURTZ


astle Surgicenter in Aurora, Illi- nois, benchmarks to ensure that

it is providing the best quality, safest care possible, says Patricia Darimont, RN, the ASC’s clinical director. “If benchmarking reveals an opportunity for improvement, we work to make changes,” she says.

Continuous quality improvement

is a key reason that many ASCs par- ticipate in ASCA’s benchmarking pro- gram, says John Greenwich, chief financial officer of ASCA. The meth- odology the program provides sup- ports improvements in clinical, oper- ational and financial areas, he says, and can be an essential element of an ASC’s quality assurance and perfor- mance improvement (QAPI) program. Gina

Throneberry, RN, CASC, director of education and clinical


Why would you want to benchmark against an ASC that is doing different specialties and procedures when you can compare yourself to ASCs just like yours?”

— Patricia Darimont, RN Castle Surgicenter

affairs for ASCA, says that benchmark- ing should now be a standard practice for any health care entity, including ASCs. “Government agencies, accred- iting organizations, state agencies are all looking at benchmarking. It also gives the facility opportunities to iden- tify weaknesses and strengths.”

Program Overview ASCA’s clinical and operational bench- marking program captures information in eight areas that ASCs monitor. All subscribers must complete the ques- tions in the first category, which cap- tures an ASC’s profile and demograph- ics. Questions in that section include ASC type (multi-specialty or single- specialty and type), years in opera- tion, size in square feet, number of operating and procedure rooms (OR), location (state) and ASC ownership structure (physician-owned, hospital- owned and/or corporate chain). ASCs report data each quarter for

the seven other sections of the survey. These sections focus on the following: 1. Volume 2. Quality 3. Operational 4. Outcome of care 5. Complications 6. Staffing 7. Financial

The number of questions in each section of the survey for which ASCs report data quarterly varies. Not all questions apply to every ASC, so skip- ping questions is acceptable. ASCA asks participants to answer all ques-

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