If you are considering plastic surgery in New York City, you might have done your research about your procedure and your surgeon. But have you looked into the facility where the procedure will be performed? Will your surgeon be performing it in an accredited plastic/cosmetic surgery practice? This is crucial for safe and comfortable surgical experience and optimal outcomes. American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) accredited plastic surgery practices meet established standards for quality and put patient safety first.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process that hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and other healthcare facilities have to go through to prove that they meet certain standards for hygiene, safety, equipment, and personnel. When a plastic surgery practice gains accreditation from the AAAASF, this means that it meets strict national safety standards. It will have high standards for personnel, safety, cleanliness, administration, and emergency readiness.
The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) requires their member surgeons to use operating facilities that are regularly checked for quality and safety, and accreditation is critical for this. An ASPS-approved surgical center must have at least one of the following accreditations (plasticsurgery.org):
- Accreditation by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAASF)
- Accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)
- Accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO)
- Participation in the title XVIII Medicare program
- State licensure in the state of operation
If you are considering plastic surgery, it’s very important that you choose an accredited plastic surgery practice. In an accredited practice, patients can put their trust in their surgeons and center, knowing they are in safe hands and have the best chances for satisfactory results.
American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)
According to an article titled “American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF) History: Its Role in Plastic Surgery Safety” published in OXFORD Academic, during the initial days of cosmetic surgery, procedures were performed in facilities which were neither certified nor regulated. A group of plastic surgeons realized the need for an accreditation program and their efforts led to the formation of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Plastic Surgery Facilities (AAAAPSF). The goal was to implement and maintain a voluntary inspection accreditation program for qualifying surgical facilities and educate plastic surgeons on the importance of safety. It became recognized as the gold standard for accreditation. Recognizing the need for similar standards for all American Board of Medical Specialties surgeons who operated in single surgical or multispecialty ambulatory surgery centers, AAAAPSF evolved into the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).
11 reasons why checking facility accreditation matters for patients
If the surgeon operates solely in an office-based operating room, make sure that the facility is properly AAAASF-accredited. Ensuring that your surgeon operates in an accredited surgical center means your safety and well-being are not compromised. The ASPS lists the reasons why facility accreditation matters as follows:
- Accredited practices/centers will observe and report incidents of infections, complications, and other issues related to patient safety to the medical board and health department.
- They will ensure that protocols for emergencies, fires, and inclement weather are in place and are constantly being reviewed.
- Accredited practices will not allow unlicensed professionals and will also routinely check physicians’ certifications.
- The operating rooms of accredited practices would have everything that is needed to respond quickly and appropriately in life-and-death situations.
- They will have sufficient trained, licensed personnel present to help in an emergency (along with the staff assisting during the procedure).
- The practice or center will be clean and up to code.
- It will ensure the best patient care standards are met, from equipment to staffing.
- Patient care and treatment plans will be regularly reviewed and updated.
- Accredited facilities will demonstrate they comply with certain laws, such as HIPAA, which protects personal healthcare information from reaching the wrong hands- to ensure that patient privacy is protected.
- Accredited facilities ensure that drug and medication expiration dates have not lapsed, and supplies are up to date.
- Only a licensed anesthesiologist will administer anesthesia and all anesthesia standards are clearly set.
They will also adhere to other safety measures – such as having an electricity system with adequate back-ups, life-saving equipment that is checked daily, excellent teamwork among anesthesiologists, surgeons, and nurses in the cosmetic surgery operating room. ASPS notes that accredited ambulatory facilities are shown to have very low rates of serious complications and low mortality rates.
If you are looking to have plastic surgery in New York City, it’s your responsibility to find the right surgeon and ensure that your procedure will be performed in an accredited plastic surgery center.