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23 Sep

Are outpatient service facilities expanding too fast to provide quality care?

We have all seen outpatient service facilities popping up on every corner. While this may mean a faster, easier way to see a physician, the death of a popular comedian raises questions on the true effectiveness of some of these locations at providing the top of the line care.

Joan Rivers went in, for what most physicians would call, a simple procedure on September 4th. She went in for an elective endoscopy that required anesthesia. During this procedure Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest and unfortunately passed away. Questions were raised immediately as to whether some of these outpatient facilities are actually ready and capable of saving or resuscitating a patient under these conditions.

It was found that most of these outpatient facilities are in fact, not capable of providing the patient with the life-saving procedures that a trauma hospital would provide and they would need to call 911 for help in these situations. This is certainly not to decrease the value of these facilities but only to take a good hard look at the extent of which they can offer safe and top of the line care to a patient. In this case, Joan River’s did not survive. This raises many questions as to what these locations are really set up for…

More than 5,300 ambulatory surgery centers treated 3.4 million fee for service Medicare beneficiaries in 2012, and the Medicare program and its beneficiaries spent billions of dollars on these services.  Outpatient facilities have to report on five quality measures which include items such as:

  • Patient burns
  • Patient falls
  • Wrong site or wrong patient procedures
  • Hospital admission
  • Other procedures

A facility that fails to report any of these can have its Medicare pay docked by 2 percent.

In a nutshell, as outpatient procedures continue to grow, there is a greater risk for life threatening complications occurring. There is a need for this type of healthcare facility but at the same time there is also a need for separation and making sure that the correct procedures land in the correct facility.


Michael Walker, Territory Sales Manager for Fashion Seal Healthcare

Michael Walker is a Territory Sales Manager at Fashion Seal Healthcare® and has been with the company since 2012.  He has more than seven years of experience in the textile industry and was previously a District Manager for Aramark Uniforms.  During Michael’s career, he has partnered with many hospitals, laundries and long term care facilities to develop uniform programs that speak to the mission statement of each facility.

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