Trenton, NJ (March 6, 2019) – More than 200 employees, administrators and medical professionals representing New Jersey’s 340 ambulatory surgery centers attended the inaugural Infection Control Conference conducted by the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC) in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH). The sold-out, full-day educational event, held on February 26, 2019, at Galloping Hills Country Club in Kenilworth, NJ, featured 10 speakers who presented on a wide variety of timely and important topics related to infection control in ASCs. According to the NJDOH, conference attendance fulfilled the required training for the in-house health care professional responsible for the day-to-day activities related to infection control. Attendees also earned five AEUs for attending the conference.
NJAASC President Jeff Shanton said, “NJAASC’s first Infection Control Conference was a unique opportunity for attendees to do a deep dive into the latest techniques, regulations, best practices and products all pertaining the infection control. New Jersey’s ASCs must follow a myriad of complex and stringent laws, regulations and medical protocols to make their health care facilities safe, and continuous education can help keep them up to date on what they need to know. The turnout for the event demonstrated the value of this information, as well as how much New Jersey’ ASCs are committed to patient and staff safety and infection control.”
According to Shanton, the relative number of complaints against ASCs is extraordinarily low. According to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), in 2017, the DOH received 2,587 complaints on all licensed facilities statewide – that includes hospitals, other sites of care, as well as ASCs; only 12 complaints were about ASCs.
NJDOH Assistant Commissioner Stefanie Mozgai, Health Facility Survey and Field Operations, members of the Department’s Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) team, and other members of the Communicable Disease Service provided information on infection control deficiencies, reporting of breaches, handling outbreaks, patient notification and proactive approaches to infection prevention.
The day’s curriculum
The day’s events featured an opportunity to meet with vendors and a full curriculum featuring:
- Opening Remarks – Jeff Shanton, President, NJAASC & Stefanie Mozgai, BA, RN, CPM, Assistant Commissioner NJDOH, Health Facilities Survey and Field Operations
- Surveys and Outbreaks, and Prevention, Oh My! – Stefanie Mozgai, BA, RN, CPM, Assistant Commissioner NJDOH, Health Facilities Survey and Field Operations
- Infection Control Deficiencies and Reporting of Breaches – Louise A. Steska, MSN, RN, NJDOH Infection Control Breaches and Patient Notification –Jason Mehr, MPH, CIC, State HAI Coordinator : Breaches in infection control can occur in any healthcare practice. However, disease transmission risk is not the same in every scenario. This presentation discussed the categories of infection control breaches and what the response is from Communicable Disease Service including recommendations for patient notification and bloodborne pathogen testing.
- Proactive Approaches to Infection Prevention and Control – Jessica Arias, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Preventionist, Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) Team Leader, NJDOH : Infection prevention and control deficiencies are not uncommon on federal, state, and accrediting surveys. With the threat of emerging infectious diseases to our nation, proactive approaches and facility preparedness are imperative. This presentation explored what resources are available to mitigate gaps and enhance infection prevention and control programs throughout New Jersey Ambulatory Surgery Centers.
- Pitfalls and Vulnerabilities in High Level Disinfection and Sterilization; Report on AAMI Changes – Nancy Chobin, RN, AAS, ACSP, CSPM, CFER, President, Sterile Processing University, LLC : This session will reviewed the most common processing errors, why they occur and how to prevent them from occurring.
- High Level (Equipment) and Low Level (Environmental Surface) Disinfection – Renee Fusco, RN, CIC, Advanced Infection Control Concepts
- Legal Ramifications of an Infection Control Breach – John Fanburg, Esq., Managing Member and Chair Health Care Law Practice Group, Brach Eichler : A Legal Report and Regulatory update. What ASCs need to know.
- Competencies for Sterilization Reprocessing Staff & Physical Plant in a Sterile Decontamination Room – Al Spath, Jr., MPA, BA, CHL, CRCST, IAHCSMM, Instructor & SME, SPD Management Consulting, LLC : Preparing for a Survey: what are the design considerations and staff competencies needed in SPD according to best practices.
- The Role of Anesthesia and Infection Control – Dr. Monte Goldstein, MD, Medical Director Virtua Joint Venture ASC’s, AAAASF/CMS Surveyor:Infection prevention in the operating room anesthesia work area: This session updated participants on current concepts and guidelines designed to decrease microbial cross contamination and disease transmission by members of the anesthesia care team and related clinicians.
- Responsibilities of the Administrator, Medical Director and Ownership in Infection Control – Meg Stagliano, RN, BSN, MBA, Seashore Surgical Institute , Your Leadership Team’s Role in Infection Control in the ASC: The session reviewed the responsibilities of the governing body, medical director, director of nursing and administrator in infection prevention and control.
“As New Jersey’s sole organization devoted to patient safety in ASCs, NJAASC is proud of our efforts earlier this year to pass legislation — known now as the One Room law — requiring all New Jersey ASCs to be licensed by the NJDOH. As a result, now all ambulatory surgery centers must comply with NJDOH regulations and are routinely surveyed by the Department,” Shanton added. “This Infection Control conference was a further example of NJAASC’s continued commitment to safety and excellent care in ambulatory surgery centers statewide.”
The New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC) is an incorporated, non-profit organization which was founded in 1992 by owners of ambulatory surgery centers. Its mission is to promote and advance the efforts of New Jersey’s ambulatory surgery centers in the delivery of optimum patient care in a cost effective manner. It offers information, educational and networking opportunities for everyone associated with the ASC industry; provides advocacy on issues affecting its members; monitors state and federal legislation, and interacts with the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) on state and federal issues. NJAASC is a member of the American Society of Quality Control. For more information, visit www.njaasc.org.