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Archive May 2002 III, No. 5

How We Made Office Surgery Safer

When you have a small staff, the road to accreditation success is measured and deliberate.

Integrate, Don't Inundate
When you have a small staff, the road to accreditation success is measured and deliberate.
Elizabeth Almeyda, MD, FACS and Linda Ramputi, RN

In late 2000, when the American Society of Plastic Surgeons established a task force on patient safety and voted to require accreditation for members who perform surgery under anything more than very minimal anesthesia, we knew it would be foolish to put off accreditation any longer. So we embraced the idea, but we made a point to deliberately integrate the process into the office culture rather than inundate our small staff with too many tasks at once. After a year, we obtained accreditation from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) and gained tremendous benefit from the process. Today, we find comfort in the knowledge that we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our patients and employees. We know that our physical facility is safe, our infection control practices are top notch, and every procedure we do is as safe as we can possibly make it for our patients. Here's how we did it.

The 4 Steps to Success
Our accrediting process unfolded in four distinct phases. The first step was to select the most appropriate accrediting body for our facility. Here at our New York practice, we offer a full breadth of plastic surgery procedures
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