Report Calls for Plan to Survey Surgical Centers
March 31, 2009
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Friday suggests that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services coordinate efforts to ensure infection control procedures are being followed at ambulatory surgery centers around the country.
Health care-associated infections are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. However, it is not known how many people are at risk of contracting infections due to improper infection control practices at ambulatory surgery centers, GAO said. In 2007, more than 6 million surgeries were performed at more than 5,100 of these facilities nationwide, it said.
Collecting data on how well centers implement CDC-recommended infection control practices would be better than trying to gather information on where patients were infected, since most infections do not surface until later, GAO suggests. "If a complication develops following a procedure, patients often seek follow-up care from their primary care physician, a hospital emergency department or an urgent care center," making it difficult to collect reliable data about the source of an infection, the report notes.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
03.28.2009; Paul Harasim
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