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10 Questions to Ask Your Ambulatory Surgery Center

by Yolando B. Adams

Did you know that there are over 5,000 ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in the United States? With so many options, it can be difficult to know which ASC is right for you or your loved one. Here are 10 questions to ask when considering an ASC:

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1. What type of procedures can be performed at the center?

The majority of ASCs offer a wide range of procedures, including but not limited to:

    • Ear, nose, and throat surgery
    • Gastrointestinal surgery
    • General surgery
    • Gynecologic surgery
    • Ophthalmic surgery
    • Orthopedic surgery
    • Urologic surgery

2. How experienced are the staff members?

It’s important to inquire about the experience of the ASC’s staff, including the surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses. Be sure to ask about their board certification and how often they perform the procedure you or your loved one is scheduled for.

3. What are the center’s infection control practices?

Infection control is a top priority for any healthcare facility, and ambulatory surgery centers are no exception. Be sure to ask about the ASC’s infection control practices, including hand hygiene protocols, sterilization procedures, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

4. What is the center’s accreditation status?

ASCs must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization, such as the Joint Commission or the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). Be sure to inquire about the ASC’s most recent accreditation status.

5. What are the center’s safety protocols?

Safety is of utmost importance in any healthcare setting. When considering an ambulatory surgery center, be sure to ask about the facility’s safety protocols, including fall prevention measures, medication management procedures, and emergency preparedness plans.

6. What are the center’s discharge instructions?

After surgery, it’s important to know what the ASC’s discharge instructions are. Be sure to ask about when you or your loved one can expect to go home, what type of follow-up care is necessary, and what to do if there are any problems or concerns. This will help ensure a smooth and seamless transition from the ASC back to home.

7. What are the center’s financial policies?

Be sure to ask about the ambulatory surgery center billing and other financial policies, including payment options, insurance coverage, and discounts for cash-paying patients. This will help you better understand your out-of-pocket costs.

8. What are the center’s visitation policies?

Visitation policies vary from one ASC to the next. Be sure to ask about the facility’s visitor policy, including when visitors are allowed, how many visitors are allowed at a time, and what type of ID is required. This will help you plan accordingly.

9. What are the center’s policies for handling cancellations or rescheduling?

Life happens, and sometimes surgery needs to be rescheduled. Be sure to ask about the ambulatory surgery center’s policies for cancellations and rescheduling, including how far in advance notice is needed and what type of documentation is required. This will help avoid any surprises down the road.

10. What are the center’s policies for handling complaints or concerns?

No healthcare facility is perfect, and there will inevitably be times when patients or their loved ones have a complaint or concern. Be sure to ask about the ambulatory surgery center’s policies for addressing complaints and concerns. This will help ensure that your voice is heard and that any issues are addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner.

These are just a few of the questions you should ask when considering an ambulatory surgery center. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can help ensure that you or your loved one has a positive experience and receives the best possible care.

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