AMSURG is on the cutting edge of quality improvements with a new education program aimed at focused training requirements for the healthcare professionals who reprocess endoscopes in AMSURG surgery and endoscopy centers.
The new program, which was eighteen months in the making, launched in March of this year. It requires all staff who participate in reprocessing endoscopes between gastroenterology procedures to complete comprehensive training and demonstrate detailed competencies on the highly technical steps. To date, more than 1,000 healthcare professionals have begun the training program.
"We wanted the assurance that staff at our centers were getting the best, most accurate information and we needed to be able to verify the accuracy of the processes they are following. This program provides both of those," said Charles Logan, associate vice president of quality, clinical services. The comprehensive training has also provided a way for AMSURG Center Leaders to become more knowledgeable about the requirements of scope reprocessing.
Recently, attention from regulatory bodies and professional societies is becoming increasingly focused on endoscope reprocessing as an area for improving patient safety. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) recently issued a recommendation that all personnel performing processing of endoscopes receive training and complete a certification exam when hired and annually, at a minimum. AMSURG's scope reprocessing education program meets or exceeds these recommendations.
"We fully expect industry standards to continue becoming more prescriptive, but we did not want to wait for that to happen. We made this program a top priority because of its direct impact on patient safety," said Kathy Wilson, vice president of quality, clinical services.
The AMSURG clinical quality department continues to build additional tools and training resources for scope reprocessing, equipping centers to differentiate themselves in patient safety and become centers of choice for both patients and physicians.