A nationwide random data sample on anti-infection practices at ambulatory surgery centers and random on-site inspections of ASCs are needed to assess the magnitude of infection-control problems at such facilities, according to a Government Accountability office report.
The report, Health-Care-Associated Infections: HHS Action Needed to Obtain Nationally Representative Data on Risk in Ambulatory Surgery Centers, identified five disparate sources of ASC infection data, but said none provide information on the extent of problems nationwide.
The report begins by citing the case of one ASC in Nevada where up to 40,000 patients were exposed to hepatitis C and other infectious diseases when syringes were reused on the same patient and medication taken from single-dose vials was injected into multiple patients. An investigation by health officials eventually uncovered other potential problems at ASCs throughout Nevada.
This report includes important findings on lapses in safety procedures that resulted in more than 50,000 of my southern Nevada constituents being notified of their potential exposure to hepatitis C or other blood-borne diseases in the last year, said U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), in a news release. Since this outbreak was uncovered, more than 100 of these Nevadans have now tested positive. And we know this is far from an isolated event. The report being released highlights just how little we know about the prevalence of unsafe practices in outpatient care settings.
It was noted that, among the experts who were interviewed for the report, collecting process datarather than outcome statisticswas more feasible and potentially more useful.