The International Association for Ambulatory Surgery (IAAS) was founded in 1996 and is a registered charity in Belgium EU. The IAAS is the only non-profit umbrella organization based on membership of national ambulatory surgery associations from countries around the world, and independent medical associations. Over half of the EU member countries are represented in the IAAS.
Day Surgery: Making it Happen represents the overall vision of the IAAS working together, through education, consultation and communication, with national societies, governmental organizations and service providers with the goal of furthering the understanding of the benefits and advantages of day surgery as well as the barriers to its full development.
The mission of the IAAS is to promote the worldwide development and growth of high quality ambulatory surgery worldwide. Day surgery has proven itself to be a high-quality, safe and cost-effective approach to surgical health care. In this light, IAAS members work together to carry out this mission free of partisan spirit, polemics and prejudice, and are committed to the values of solidarity and equity of access to healthcare.
The objectives of the International Association for Ambulatory Surgery are: to promote the development of high quality ambulatory surgery; to stimulate the formation of national associations for ambulatory surgery; to promote education and training in ambulatory surgery for surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses; to encourage multi-disciplinary working in ambulatory surgery; to stimulate research in ambulatory surgery; to form a database of ambulatory surgery and anaesthesia; to promote the international exchange of knowledge and experience in ambulatory surgery; to organise seminars and conferences on ambulatory surgery; to develop internationally agreed guidelines for the practice of ambulatory surgery; to publish the peer reviewed international journal, Ambulatory Surgery; to collaborate with International healthcare bodies.
In pursuit of these aims, the IAAS carries out a number of activities, including publishing, networking, research and training.
Publishing activities include a website, the international peer reviewed journal on ambulatory surgery, entitled Ambulatory Surgery, and a tri-annual newsletter. The website (www.iaasmed. com) contains agreed international guidelines and definitions for the practice of ambulatory surgery, undergraduate medical education core curriculum criteria on day surgery, issues of the journal Ambulatory Surgery and the newsletter. In development are a bibliography and an advice service. The journal, Ambulatory Surgery, provides a scientific multidisciplinary international forum for all health care professionals involved in day care surgery. The newsletter provides news from the IAAS and national societies. Also, the IAAS roduces special publications focusing n specific issues of DaySurgery. The most impistant ones are: the booklet "Policy Brief - Day Surgery: Making it Happen" published in 2007 by the World Health Organisation on behalf of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies in collaboration with the IAAS; the book "Day Surgery - Development and Practice" (Ed. P.Lemos, P.Jarrett, B.Philip) which covers surgery, anaesthesia and management in ambulatory surgery.
Networking activities include the biennial International Congress on Ambulatory Surgery held at different venues around the world. The 2011 Congress was held in Copenhagen, Denmark and the 2013 congress will be held in Budapest, Hungary and the participation of members as speakers and moderators in national ambulatory surgery congresses.
Research activities include regular international benchmarking exercises every two years to measure the rate of day surgery (as a percentage of all surgery and / or as a percentage of all elective surgery) in one country for comparison with day surgery activity in other countries and participation as collaborating partner in 2 European Projects, Day Surgery Data Project and DaySafe. The IAAS is involved in the dissemination of information and results.
Regular training activities include training sessions held in conjunction with IAAS congresses and exchange visits to day units in various countries for doctors, nurses, managers and politicians to see different types of day surgery facilities and to find out how ambulatory surgery is practiced in various settings. In 2003, the IAAS collaborated with European Space Agency on the Sky Med pilot project for computer based training of day surgery staff. Presently, the Train the Trainers educational plan aimed at providing health care professionals, hospital managers and policy makers, particularly from Eastern Europe, the essential notions for capacity building in the area of Day Surgery is being developed. The first edition of the course Day Surgery: Making it Happen will take place in Hungary in 2012.
The last 15 years have seen the rapid growth of ambulatory surgery in the more developed countries and significant improvement has been achieved in many IAAS member countries, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Hungary. In this light, the main objective of the IAAS 2012-2013 work plan is the sustainable growth of ambulatory surgery in countries with enormous potential for growth, as can be seen by the decision to organize the 2013 International Congress in Budapest. The overall vision of the IAAS - DAY SURGERY - MAKING IT HAPPEN - is thereby translated into the following 2013 objectives:
- Strengthen the relations with Eastern European members and their proactive role within the association in order to contribute to the reduction of the gap in DS
- Influence policy to make smart and sustainable decisions by disseminating good practice and results of the EU funded projects where IAAS is involved as collaborating partner
- Contribute to the introduction of the innovative day surgery model and related management styles, and its application by providing training opportunities, facilitating exchange of information, as well as professional exchanges among health managers and professionals involved in day surgery practice
Activities in 2013 will build on those performed in the previous two years: participation as collaborating partner in EU funded projects and the "Train the Trainers" educational plan for capacity building in the area of Day Surgery Services. The main pillars of the 2013 work plan will be: 1.Capacity building exercise targeting health managers and clinicians in management positions. This includes two main components: Training workshops and exchange visits. Training activities will take place in four different new member states and be jointly implemented by the IAAS and the national associations or individual members in Hungry, Romania, Poland and Slovakia. The trainers will be those prepared by IAAS during 2012 with the support of the IAAS experienced members. To ensure the quality of the training, a cross cultural training guide will be made available to the trainers. The recruitment of participants and course logistics will be handled locally. Follow up and exchange visits in / from the countries / organizations participating in the workshops are meant to help those health organizations interested in the immediate change to plan and set up the new model by providing on the site advice or offering the opportunity to see the application of best practices. 2. Stimulation and dissemination of research activities. As one of the core activities of IAAS, dissemination of the most recent research findings to IAAS members, the greater scientific and policy making community will be carried out through the IAAS`s electronic channels. The activities in this pillar include publication of the scientific Journal and the Newsletter, maintenance and improvement of the website as well as the special publication of policy recommendations related to DS information systems deriving from the DSDP project. The latter will contribute to increasing the project`s impact outside the area of member states involved in the project. 3.Networking and benchmarking activities: the International Congress in Budapest represents the major networking opportunity for both members and non members. In connection to the congress that will be organized by the Hungarian National Association of DS, IAAS will directly manage a parallel session targeting delegates from EE countries on DS Information systems. It will also perform a training needs assessment by organizing a survey of participants from new members states and other candidate and associate countries. Finally, the traditional survey of DS use that IAAS carries out every two years will be extended to EE countries and the information will be valuable for trend analysis and the 2014 work plan.