Another ASCA Annual Conference in the Books

Debra Stinchcomb, MBA, BSN, RN, CASC

ASCA 2018 is in the books and rounded out as a great meeting for the industry.

On day 2, I had the pleasure to visit with a new client, Orthopaedic and Spine Center of the Rockies. Karen Hardes, the COO and Karen Beaugh, the Director of Nursing were in attendance. We look forward to working with them through the licensure, certification and accreditation process on their new, 8 OR ASC.

I was invited to speak at the morning session. My presentation was titled: “Boost Quality, Efficiency and Cost Savings with Clinical Benchmarking”. My goal was for each attendee to gain a better understanding of clinical benchmarking and most of all, to be able successfully add benchmarking to their QAPI Program at their ASC. Our team performs numerous mock surveys across the country throughout the year, which gives us extensive hands on experience and perspective. I shared that too often ASCs miss the opportunity to use benchmarking as a tool for improvement and managing change in their operation.

Throughout the day, I attended sessions in the areas of risk, infection control, and the addition of cardiac procedures and gleaned some great information. Risk assessment is a trending issue! There was a lot of emphasis on the need to prioritize and assess risk, especially in the area of infection control.

Runners for the Boston Marathon began arriving to town on day 3. It is hard to believe 5 years have passed since the ASCA annual conference was hosted here within days of the Boston Marathon Bombing. It is tremendous to see the hustle and bustle outside of the convention center, testament to Boston Strong!

Day 3 offered another great line up of sessions, including a presentation on ASC Cyber Security. It goes without saying that your ASC network must be protected. We were reminded to have a HIPAA assessment performed by a third party each year along with frequent, strong password changes. An FBI agent, who co-presented, shared that PHI sells for up to $350 per patient. Considering the potential monetary gain involved in electronic breaches, it is easy, though unfortunate to see the lure for criminals. Cyber ransom is another widespread issue. Be sure to check your cyber insurance for details.

50 new CASC recipients were congratulated on their receipt of the credential at a celebration lunch. The CASC (Certified Administrator Surgery Center) credential, which originated in 2002, is a distinction earned by those in the ASC industry with a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and skills that the role of an ASC administrator requires. Many organizations either require an Administrator be CASC certified or obtain their certification within a defined time frame.

I am grateful for the opportunity to visit and collaborate with friends and colleagues in the industry at the ASC annual conference every year. I look forward to ASCA 2019 in Nashville, TN – May 15-18.

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