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Standards in Day Surgery Centres

Many cosmetic surgical procedures don’t require hospitalisation and many patients are choosing the comfort of a day surgery centre. Jodi Thiessen spoke with Sydney cosmetic plastic surgeon DR DARRYL HODGKINSON about day surgery standards.

 

It is estimated that outpatient surgery will account for more than four out of every five operative procedures performed by the year 2005.
The Double Bay Day Surgery is one of only a handful of centres that is fully licensed by the State Board of Health for general and local anaesthetic. Day surgery centres must go through a rigorous accreditation process before they can become licensed. “These guidelines afford patients the security that in these circumstances they are actually unlikely to get a complication,” explains Dr Hodgkinson. “There’s really no other way to give patients the security as there are no office surgery standards in Australia.”

 

Knowing the day surgery centre is licensed can provide peace of mind for patients. Being accredited means the centre is under constant review by medical and health officials. Licensing under the Department of Health guidelines requires several ongoing checks
and balances. Some of the requirements under these guidelines are:

  • Regular reporting to and on-site inspection by the regulating authorities.
  • A Medical Advisory Committee consisting of at least five medical practitioners overseeing the clinical responsibilities and practices at the centre.
  • Quality Assurance investigations must be carried out on a regular basis.

These include infection control standards and a resuscitation trolley containing a complete set of adult resuscitation and monitoring equipment, oxygen and suction facilities must be available in all operating and recovery suites. Each and every procedure is only performed by an accredited medical practitioner. A procedure involving general anaesthetics, spinal anaesthetic, epidural or major field of local aneasthetic infiltrate or I.V. sedation, the patient is attended by a second appropriately accredited medical practitioner.

Along with the standards that are required by an accredited and licensed day surgery centre, there is also the added benefit of the centre’s purpose being solely for cosmetic surgery procedures. The cosmetic surgery dedicated outpatient facility never deals with infected patients so the risks of cross infection are dramatically reduced.

“Problems can occur during surgery like infection, haemorrhage, respiratory problems and things associated with patient needs,” concludes Dr Hodgkinson. “There’s really only one way of reducing the incidence of those adverse occurrences and that’s by operating in the most optimal circumstances.”