Have you ever heard that a friend was having surgery, but they reassured you it wasn’t serious because it was an outpatient procedure?

Although it is true that outpatient procedures normally involve less risk than those requiring a hospital stay overnight, the notion that they aren’t very hazardous is unfounded. Since all surgeries have certain inherent hazards, only board-certified surgeons are now permitted to remove burst appendices instead of barbers. We want to know that the surgeon has a certain level of training and will follow standards for surgical care.


However, the danger is only partially under the control of surgeons. The way the surgical facility is operated greatly influences the risk associated with the procedure. What certifications must the employees possess? What precautions are taken to avoid infection? How are dangerous wastes managed? Even for the most experienced surgeons, the risk of surgery could go up or down depending on how you answer these questions.

These are crucial concerns, but how is the average patient meant to be aware of them before having surgery?

This is where accreditation for surgical facilities comes in. Reputable ambulatory surgery facilities (also known as outpatient surgery facilities or same-day surgery facilities) follow a set of minimal requirements for staff, supplies, operating room protocols, and surgeon qualifications. When independent groups confirm that the facility does in fact meet these requirements, it is then given accreditation.

In other words, independent accrediting organizations perform the labor for you by ensuring the facility runs safely. Accredited outpatient surgery centers are much cheaper than hospitals and have very low rates of patient complications.

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