Surgery Center of Fairfield County Wins AAAHC Award


Surgery Center of Fairfield County Wins AAAHC Award

The Surgery Center of Fairfield County of Trumbull, Connecticut, won the Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award. The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) of Skokie, Illinois, gives out the award to recognize AAAHC-accredited organizations that successfully implemented meaningful changes in their operations to enhance quality of care, patient safety and overall efficiency, according to a September 17 press release.

In summer/fall of 2019, AAAHC-accredited primary care and surgical/procedural organizations submitted detailed descriptions of completed quality improvement studies. An expert panel selected six finalists and identified one winner from the numerous submissions in the categories of primary care and surgical/procedural.

The surgical care award winner, Surgery Center of Fairfield County, focused its study on decreasing cost and environmental impact related to regulated medical waste and the use of sharps containers and bio-medical waste bags. The primary care winner, Nemours Children’s Primary Care, focused its study on increasing vaccination rates for measles in efforts to achieve herd immunity.

To determine whether sharps containers and bio-medical waste bags were used appropriately, the ASC team studied what was placed in sharps containers and bio-medical waste bags in a randomly selected operating room and recovery room at the Surgery Center of Fairfield County. After finding that they were being used inappropriately as generic garbage receptacles in some instances, the team delivered a presentation and created educational handouts describing proper disposal of medications, sharps and bio-medical waste. This resulted in a 43.4 percent reduction in sharps and biomedical waste containers generated from the facility, exceeding the surgery center’s goal of a 25 percent reduction, according to the release.

“The Kershner Award recognizes organizations that commit themselves to continually improving the quality of patient care that they provide,” said Girish P. Joshi, chair of the AAAHC Institute Quality Advisory Committee, in the release. “Importantly, these studies focus on issues that facilities must keep top of mind in the ongoing COVID era, that of common childhood vaccine-preventable infectious diseases and safe disposal of medical waste.”

Read more about the winning QI studies.