Achieve Higher Surgery Center Case Volume: 4 Proven Low-Cost Tactics
1. Host an event. Events at surgery centers can take on a variety of formats and include different target audiences. The first and most important part of the planning is to establish your objectives. This will help you define the scope of your event and determine the guest list. One of Ms. Dickison's surgery centers recently hosted an "appreciation event" to thank and educate local medical practices and staff. Vendors were included to provide demonstrations that engaged guests and showcased the facility's equipment and technology. "We invited the media and secured exposure in the local newspaper which really helps tell our story and build credibility in a smaller community."
A scheduler's luncheon or breakfast can be an effective way to build rapport with this important audience. Find ways to connect with schedulers to educate them and identify and resolve any barriers to entry. Whatever type of event is held, communicate clearly with your staff and vendors to ensure they understand their role to ensure success.
When executing events, remember it doesn't have to break the bank. Establish a theme that will resonate with your audience and carry it out from the invitations to the décor. Hand-deliver invitations to save on postage and provide a personal touch. Be frugal and creative about food and beverage offerings since this will be your biggest expense. Finally, manage RSVPs by making personal calls prior to the event to increase attendance.
2. Optimize time management in the OR. Time management in the operating room is essential to running an efficient center and having space to bring in extra cases. "Sometimes you may need to change your block time," says Ms. Dickison. "The old school block times included morning and afternoon blocks, but there's nothing wrong with having two-hour blocks instead."
You might have three different physicians using the same operating room in one morning, and that's fine, as long as it's communicated well. "The flexibility with block time is going to be huge; it's important for the staff to collaborate and communicate effectively with physicians to ensure block times are fully utilized."
3. Promote communication with anesthesiologists. As an administrator, be instrumental in ensuring that surgeons and anethesiologists are communicating effectively before the case to make sure patients are appropriate for the ASC setting. By having a process in place to handle these types of issues, it makes it much easier to backfill the OR time should a scheduled patient no longer be able to have their procedure performed at the center.
"The more knowledgeable we are about patient care, the better care we can provide," says Ms. Dickison. "Anesthesia is a crucial component in the communication with your partners and patients."
4. Cultivate a culture of continuous recruitment. Make it a top priority to identify ways to stay top-of-mind with potential physician utilizers and partners. Whether it's a monthly visit from the administrator or peer-to-peer engagement from the existing partners, formulate a plan, be consistent and persistent, and measure results. It takes time to increase awareness and educate physicians, but it's time well spent.
More Articles on Surgery Centers:
6 Steps for Surgery Centers to Avoid Patient Transfers
8 Tips for Surgery Center Administrators in the Shifting Healthcare Landscape
Boost Surgery Center Volume on a Budget: 3 Recommendations From Administrator Angela Laux
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