Proposed Changes to Federal Guidelines Institute Surgical Facilities Guidelines
Recently the Federal Guidelines Institute (FGI) proposed changes to their Specific Requirements to Outpatient Surgical Facilities and proposed new Office-Based Surgical Facilities Guidelines.
The proposed changes to the Office-Based Surgical Facilities Guidelines would requre 48 inches of clearance on all sides of the procedure table, exclusive of any equipment, carts, or cabinets located on perimeter walls. Additionally, there will be new requirements for patient care areas. The complete proposed changes are available here: http://asdsa.asds.net/uploadedFiles/ASDSA/Office-Based_Surgery/Comment_1222_Chap_3.8_office_surgery_facilities.pdf. The ASDSA's public comment letter can be viewed here: http://asdsa.asds.net/uploadedfiles/ASDSA/Office-Based_Surgery/ASDSA__FGIA_OBS_Guidelines_2013.pdf.
As proposed, the revised Outpatient Surgical Facilities would rercommend 360 square foot operating rooms for all procedures, whereas under prior versions of the guidelines, operating rooms could be 150 square feet (Class A OR) or 250 square feet (Class B OR), depending on procedure type and sedation level. The proposed changes can be viewed here: http://www.fgiguidelines.net/comments/draft/2014draft_3.7_OutpatientSurgery.pdf. ASDSA's Comment on the Proposed FGI Guidelines Changes can be read here: http://asdsa.asds.net/uploadedFiles/Advocacy(1)/ASDSA-FGIASCguidelines.pdf.
While the FGI Guidelines do not have the force of law, they are frequently used as a resource for developing Ambulatory Surgical Center regulations at both the state and the federal level. For more information about the FGI, go to http://www.fgiguidelines.org/faqs.php.
Although the FGI has no enforcement authority, ASDSA leadership is concerned about the negative precedent such changes could have on our members who practice in Ambulatory Surgical Centers. For this reason, we provided public comment objecting to these new space requirements.
We will continue to monitor these guidelines and urge the FGI as well as regulatory agencies to protect patient safety without issuing overly burdensome requirements which have no scientific basis for lessening infection rates and complications. Members will be apprised of developments via this website and our monthly e-advocacy newsletter.