AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare and national leader in the management of ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), has developed guidelines to support the delivery of safe, quality outpatient care as communities begin resuming elective procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Quality patient care is always our top priority, and following clinical best practices, along with federal and local guidance, will help ensure the safety of our patients and clinicians as we resume elective procedures during this public health crisis,” said Dr. Chan Chuang, Chief Medical Officer of Envision and Co-President of AMSURG. “Ambulatory surgery centers are an integral part of the healthcare delivery system, providing quality care at a significantly lower cost and in a more convenient setting than many alternative care sites. The services we provide are essential in helping patients maintain their health and quality of life, and these procedures can be resumed safely in some communities.”
The guidelines developed by AMSURG clinical and quality leaders provide the organization’s network of more than 3,700 physicians and more than 250 ASCs with recommended processes to ensure clinician and patient safety.
The best practices include:
- Screening patients diligently. In addition to conducting a thorough patient screening for the appropriate elective procedure, ASCs are screening patients for COVID-19. All clinical staff members are also screened daily.
- Educating patients. In addition to traditional pre-procedure education, AMSURG ASCs are educating patients on precautions the center is taking to protect patients and staff. Education also includes information about patients’ role in their health and well-being.
- Implementing social distancing precautions. ASCs are scheduling more time between procedures to enable appropriate social distancing during patients’ care journeys and thoroughly clean treatment rooms and equipment.
- Continuing to adhere to high clinical quality and safety measures. Clinicians and clinical staff are following strict clinical guidelines, including screening for COVID-19, using appropriate personal protective equipment and following stringent cleaning protocols.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., AMSURG ASCs have complied with all local and federal guidelines and been a part of efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus and support patient care. Some centers have aligned with hospitals and state agencies to distribute critical resources like personal protective equipment and ventilators to areas of greatest need. Other centers have continued to provide essential care to patients – when it was medically necessary not to delay a procedure – including a colonoscopy to detect and remove cancerous polyps and urgent orthopaedic and retina procedures to improve patients’ quality of life.
Envision, along with AMSURG, has taken a leading position in responding to America’s call for COVID-19 care. The medical group’s actions to support clinicians, healthcare partners and patients include:
Mobilizing to meet the need for more physicians and advanced practice providers across the nation. Envision is providing support to 55 medical sites by deploying more than 500 clinicians to care for COVID-19 patients. Anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists from the anesthesiology provider team are already on the ground to meet unprecedented demand for care. Clinicians will continue to be deployed to address surging hot spots across the country.
Securing more than 5 million items of PPE, including masks, face shields, gowns, and goggles to support Envision’s clinicians and hospital partners. This PPE is being delivered to areas of greatest need. Treating every patient regardless of their ability to pay. Envision has committed to working with all parties to ensure no COVID-19 patient is burdened with unexpected costs. We will not send patients surprise medical bills and will work to ensure patients are only responsible for in-network cost-sharing.
AMSURG acquires, develops and operates ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) in partnership with physicians throughout the United States. As of January 1, 2020, AMSURG owned and operated 257 ASCs and one surgical hospital in 34 states and the District of Columbia with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopaedics.
About Envision Healthcare Corporation
Envision Healthcare Corporation is a leading provider of physician-led services and post-acute care, and ambulatory surgery services. The Company delivers physician services, primarily in the areas of emergency department and hospitalist services, anesthesiology services, radiology/tele-radiology services, and children’s services to more than 1,800 clinical departments in healthcare facilities in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Post-acute care is delivered through an array of clinical professionals and integrated technologies which, when combined, contribute to efficient and effective population health management strategies. As a market leader in ambulatory surgical care, the Company owns and operates 257 surgery centers and one surgical hospital in 35 states and the District of Columbia, with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopedics. In total, the Company offers a differentiated suite of clinical solutions on a national scale, creating value for health systems, payers, providers and patients.