New SCOPE Program Aims to Improve Patient Safety in Outpatient Settings

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The pilot stage of the new Safety Certification for Outpatient Practice Excellence (SCOPE) initiative has been launched by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Designed to enhance patient safety in an office setting, SCOPE is the first safety and quality certification program focused on women’s health.

The pilot stage of the new Safety Certification for Outpatient Practice Excellence (SCOPE) initiative has been launched by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Designed to enhance patient safety in an office setting, SCOPE is the first safety and quality certification program focused on women’s health. This voluntary review program is designed to help obstetricians and gynecologists in individual and group practices institute new processes based on their unique settings and needs to ensure that their offices are adhering to current patient safety criteria.1

Advances in minimally invasive gynecological surgery techniques have resulted in many surgeries and procedures taking place in a new venue. Approximately 30% of gynecological surgeries now occur in an ambulatory setting. Tubal sterilization, endometrial ablation for heavy menses, and loop electrosurgical excision procedure for cervical dysplasia-all surgeries that once could only be done in a hospital-are now commonly performed in office settings. However, a patient is 10 times more likely to experience an adverse event in an office setting than if the procedure took place at a hospital, according to James T. Breeden, MD, president-elect of ACOG.1

“In many ways, the area of office-based surgery is young, and the checks and balances that have existed for years in hospitals have not been as well-established for the office setting. The SCOPE program is ACOG’s effort to improve in-office patient safety procedures,” states Dr Breeden.

To participate, practices must request a SCOPE survey, which collects data on characteristics of the practice, providers, and specific safety measures and processes within the practice. The completed survey is reviewed and followed up with a site visit. Participants then will receive a report from ACOG highlighting opportunities for improved patient safety.

References:

Reference
1. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. New SCOPE program makes patient safety a priority no matter the setting. Available at: http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr10-03-11-1.cfm. Accessed October 13, 2011.

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