ASCA 2017 in Washington DC

Day 1

Woke up to a beautiful view of National Harbor at ASCA 2017. All of the pre-conferences were held today. I was happy to moderate and present two workshops at the CASC Review Course. In addition, I was able to attend the ASCA State Association meeting, as well. Board Governance and Strategic planning were discussed, as well as many legislative issues that states are facing. If you are not involved in your state association, you really need to be. Our voices need to be heard.

I worked with two of my good friends and peers, Mary Ryan RN and John Goele to preset workshops for the CASC review course. I covered HR and Regulatory/Legal issues. If you haven’t worked toward this credential yet, it is something you must consider.

The kick off session was this evening at 5 with a reception to follow. A great end to a very busy day!! Loved running into Barbara Cocchaira, who not only is the Administrator of a facility in Scottsdale, but helps us out from time to time with mock surveys. I also ran into a current management client from Little Rock and an Education client from Oregon.

Off to Capitol Hill early tomorrow morning. A very exciting time to be in DC.

Day 2

Today was Capitol Hill day! We loaded buses by 7am and went to the Capitol Hill Club for breakfast and training. We then headed off to our respective Congressional offices.

Diane Brown (a fellow Arkansan) and I met with Congressman Womak and his legislative aide, Colin, Lesley Hill, the legislative aide for Congressman Hill and Senator Boozman and his staff. We asked for their support by cosponsoring the ASC Quality and Access Act or to sign on to a letter to Secretary Price asking him to move our payment methodology from the CPI to the hospital market basket. We also asked for support by cosponsoring Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act. Many thanks to Senator Boozman, who is already a cosponsor of that bill. We had very successful visits. I encourage all of you to get involved with your Representatives and Senators to ask them for support on these two bills!! If you need help getting involved, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Senator Boozman’s staff gave us a tour of the Capital and we then stood in a very long line to get into the house gallery for the healthcare vote. Interesting day to be in DC. Unfortunately, we were 10 minutes past the vote when we made it in, but it was still a fun, exciting time.

Tonight, several of the AASA (Arkansas Ambulatory Surgery Association) members went out for dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s in National Harbor.

Day 3

What a busy day!! Had the privilege of working with Will Miller, Esq., again this year. We did two workshops this morning: 1) Cell Phone/Tablet Usage in the ASC by Patients/Patient Representatives, Staff and Physicians: Re-Visited which was a workshop we did last year but expanded for this session. 2) Avoiding ASC Liability Arising From Nursing Scope of Practice and Nursing Practice. Will and I stayed for an hour after the end of this presentation due to the number of questions the presentation generated from Administrators and Clinical Directors about their particular center issues. An RN at the session left us a wonderful note stating “I just wanted to thank you for your session, it has been my favorite by far. As a Circulating RN, I felt like you both really “got me” and have my back. Thanks for your time and support!” That note made my day!

My afternoon included attending sessions on Disposal of medications by the DEA, Active Shooter Preparation by a Homeland Security Agent and Nursing Leadership: Identifying and Addressing Ethical Challenges.

The Active Shooter presentation was excellent. Two take aways: Have wasp spray in your office (it has a long range and will debilitate a shooter long enough to fight back or flee) and ask your local police department or SWAT team to come in to look at your ASC. Not for an inservice, but to familiarize themselves with your facility, should they ever have to respond to this alarm.

The Nursing Leadership presentation was excellent, especially with Nurses Week upon us. The speaker was tremendous and tied ethical challenges back to our roots…. the Nursing Code of Ethics. This code is over 100 years old and was last updated in 2015. She used real life ethical issues she has faced in her management career and tied all decisions back to the provisions of the Code of Ethics. Good provisions to live by.

The day ended seeing wonderful friends, Sandra Jones and Ann Geier.

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