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Illinois Adopts AORN Guidelines

Publish Date: October 13, 2014

In October 2013, AORN submitted comments to the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding proposed amendments to its Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center (ASTC) Licensing Requirements. In the proposed revisions, the Department of Public Health had incorporated the AORN 2012 Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices into the ASTC licensing regulations by reference at Section 205.115(a)(1)(E). Because the Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices are evidenced-based and updated regularly, AORN suggested in its comments that instead of including the 2012 publication date in the regulations, the Department should reference the “then-current” AORN Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. Additionally, in order to achieve consistency with the Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices, AORN provided specific comments regarding the ASTC licensure regulations and proposed changes, including consistent use of the term “surgical attire” instead of “scrub attire”.

In the September 26, 2014 issue of the Illinois Register, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a Notice of Adopted Amendments to their ASTC Licensing Requirements. As suggested, the final regulations use the term “surgical attire” instead of “scrub attire”. They also include a new section, Section 205.550, Infection Control, which states: “The ASTC shall consider, select and implement nationally recognized infection control guidelines in developing its infection control program, including…the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) publication "Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices for Inpatient and Ambulatory Centers" (Section 205.550(e)).

AORN’s mission is to promote safety and optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices are published each year and contain standards, recommended practices, and guidance statements for perioperative nursing practice, and can be adapted and used for all settings where surgical and other invasive procedures are performed. This type of regulatory recognition by a state department of health confirms AORN’s prominence and public trust in its practice guidance for operating room procedures and infection control practices.

AORN's Government Affairs department supports advocacy on behalf of perioperative nurses before legislative and regulatory bodies at both the state and federal levels. Full ASTC licensing regulations for Illinois ambulatory surgery centers are in Title 77, Part 205 of the Illinois Administrative Code.