Surveys from accreditation bodies are always stressful for the staff at ASCs. Searching for the data in a pile of binders and ensuring that everything is logged takes a lot of time and energy. Leadership and staff are responsible for hunting down missed logs and maintaining accreditation. Surglogs has committed to make the lives of healthcare employees easier and reduce stress from unannounced surveys. We’ve talked to Beth Primiano, an administrator at the Center for Advanced Surgery (CASC), a 5 OR ASC in Arizona, about her compliance processes and ensuring her facility is always survey-ready.
What log tracking method did you have in place prior to Surglogs?
“Mostly just Excel spreadsheets, which can sometimes be convoluted. When people switch positions or there is staff turnover, team members are unaware of where to find what they are looking for. This is oftentimes how thing get lost in the cracks and don’t get updated in a timely manner. It also can lead to issues regarding the timeliness with required testing and fall out as excel spreadsheets don’t always provide you with or updates.”
Do you have a specific set of staff completing logs?
“Yes, my whole facility. They’re working with Surglogs dependent upon on their role. My safety officer, clinical director, clinical staff, even my front desk personnel, and business office staff all have access to Surglogs. There are doing their daily, weekly, or monthly checks. For instance, we have an AED at our front desk. Every week it has to be checked to make sure that it’s functioning and working in case we need to use it. It doesn’t happen often, of course, but it’s still a check that we have to do for regulatory compliance to ensure that it’s working appropriately. My front desk staff can access Surglogs to be able to perform the quality control on a weekly basis and input the log in the system. If the AED check has been missed you can pull up Surglogs and see that it still needs to be completed.”
Was the entire team using spreadsheets?
“They were using handwritten logs and then saving them in a multiple binders. Which, of course, This tends to be cumbersome and not completely infallible. we have limited space, a lot of Most ASCs have limited space, therefore our real estate is precious to us. Switching to Surglogs meant cutting down on the excess work, whether it would be scanning those logs every month, every quarter, or every year, and then taking up room on our drive or even sending it off to a storage facility. We were paying for these storages fees and taking up space within our facility that could be utilized in another manner. Surglogs helped us with actually cutting down storage expenses as well.”
Switching to Surglogs meant cutting down on the excess work, whether it would be scanning those logs every month, every quarter, or every year, and then taking up room on our drive or even sending it off to a storage facility.
What is your accreditation agency?
How often do you have surveys?
“Every three years, but it is essential to be survey ready at all times. A surveyor can be at your doorstep at any time and it is leadership’s responsibility to ensure the ASC is prepared. For instance, in the last week of the year, we had a person surveyor from the State Department come who dropped by unannounced to go over a few things with me.”
Are you consistently preparing for survey? If so, how?
“Every week we sit down as a team to go through a chapter of our accreditation handbook. We match it up to our state regulatory compliance as well as Medicare regulatory compliance. We just want to make sure that we’re following all guidelines. We feel we have a good handle on all the functions of the facility as well as ensure we are following the most up to date regulations. I have been an administrator at my current facility for less than a year. Prepping for survey has allowed me to get to know our processes better and learn more about the operations here. It has also allowed the leadership team to make needed corrections to ensure we are meeting all requirements. When it comes to life safety, and all the quality control items that we have to complete regularly, it Surglogs gives us a peace of mind. It allows us to know that all functions are being done on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, including our sterilization logs. This is another big topic that will be looked at by surveyors too.”
What is the time comparison from pre Surglogs to now regarding preparation for survey?
“I could say we’ve easily cut it down to a quarter of the time when it comes to the logs portion of it. I think that we’ve cut down considerably a larger amount of time in trying to hunt down logs and doing duplicative work.”
What is the number one task that you have found as a “time saver”?
“Searching for data. It’s a lot easier to have it all in one spot than having to pull up spreadsheets to go find them. In Surglogs, we can just access the log report and have it all at our fingertips.”
Is it faster to fill in the digital logs than paper forms on a daily basis?
“Most definitely faster. It’s very easy for staff to ensure the logs are being completed. They don’t have to go grab a specific binder, It’s not cumbersome. They just take tablets with them where they need to go to complete the log. We’ve had a great success rate with all of our staff adopting Surglogs.”
How about your stress levels from surveys? Has Surglogs helped with that?
“I would say it dramatically decreases my stress levels. I don’t have to worry whether logs are getting done. All I have to do is to log into Surglogs and see what hasn’t been done and then question it and follow up with the appropriate individuals. It eases the stress levels of our safety officer as well. Not everyone has the background of building systems and let’s face it, nurses definitely don’t either, but at an ambulatory surgery center, we have to ensure all those life safety and environment of care systems are working. It does fall on our shoulders to learn and maintain these systems. The fear that we’re missing something is always there. We work with our policies and procedures then up our Surglogs to mimic what they recommend. This ensures we’re following all the guidelines.”
What portion of your staff is involved in Surglogs usage?
“I would say 100% of our employees. Everyone has the ability to go to Surglogs and enter a log.”
Can you tell us about your survey experience with Surglogs?
“Yes, I actually started using it at my prior facility (Westgate Surgery Center). It was a brand new ASC that started first cases in 2020 during the COVID year. As my team and I were going through policies and procedures, we kept a log & wrote down everything we have to track on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Then we went back to Surglogs to make ensure we set up our logs to match the requirements. These logs were digitized in Surglogs. During the survey I was able to show all our logs on my tablet or computer. The surveyor was very impressed with it and mentioned that some hospital systems have a life-safety portion system that is digitized or have different programs that are used, but usually those are extremely expensive and there is not a lot of wiggle room to customize the log for the facility’s needs. We easily customized all our logs in Surglogs.”
How much time did the survey take?
“It was a total of three days. But it was also a Medicare deemed status survey.”
If you compare a survey with Surglogs and a survey with binders, which is faster?
“Surglogs is way much faster because you don’t have to run to go grab a book binder or look for something. Everything is in Surglogs. You can literally just sit down with somebody and show them what you’ve done. I really like the attachment feature, because you can quickly access reports from any of your vendors. We feel much more confident that we are current with the facility demands and always on the top of our game as far as having the logs and knowing that they’re complete and the appropriate following up is done in a timely fashion. Surglogs helps us to always be survey-ready.”
When it comes to Survey preparation, what would you say is the top benefit of using Surglogs?
“Peace of mind! We always know that we’re up to date. Leadership teams can also check on it at any time to understand if necessary logs are being missed or what is coming up for maintenance. It gave my entire team confidence that we are always ready for the survey and better yet that we are doing everything we can to ensure our patient’s are receiving the best care possible.”