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Analysis of Outpatient Surgery Center Safety Using an Internet-Based Quality Improvement and Peer Review Program

Keyes, Geoffrey R. M.D.; Singer, Robert M.D.; Iverson, Ronald E. M.D.; McGuire, Michael M.D.; Yates, James M.D.; Gold, Alan M.D.; Thompson, Dennis M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2004 - Volume 113 - Issue 6 - p 1760-1770
doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000124743.75839.11
Special Topic

Assessing the quality of care delivered in office-based outpatient surgery centers is difficult because formerly there was no central data collection system. The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), in its ongoing effort to assess and improve patient care, has developed an Internet-based quality improvement and peer review program to analyze outcomes for surgery centers it accredits. Reporting is mandatory for all surgeons operating in AAAASF-accredited facilities. Each surgeon must report all unanticipated sequelae and at least six random cases reviewed by an accepted peer review group biannually. A total of 411,670 procedures were analyzed during a 2-year period (from 2001 to 2002). There were 2597 sequelae reported during this period. The most common sequela was hematoma formation following breast augmentation. Infection occurred in 388 cases. Deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and intraoperative cardiac arrhythmias were found to occur in a frequency consistent with previous reports. Significant complications (hematoma, hypertensive episode, wound infection, sepsis, and hypotension) were infrequent. A total of 1378 significant sequelae were reported for 411,670 procedures. This calculates to one unanticipated sequela in 299 procedures (an incidence of 0.33 percent). Seven deaths were reported. A death occurred in one in 58,810 procedures (0.0017 percent). The overall risk of death was comparable whether the procedure was performed in an AAAASF-accredited office surgery facility or a hospital surgery facility.

This study documents an excellent safety record for surgical procedures performed in accredited office surgery facilities by board-certified surgeons.

Received for publication September 5, 2003; revised January 13, 2004.

Geoffrey R. Keyes, M.D., Suite 611, 9201 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069-3701,

©2004American Society of Plastic Surgeons