Improving Profits in ASCs: 3 Departmental Strategies
Managing the evolving workplace
Margaret Chappell, RN, senior vice president of operations at Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America, discussed the importance of managing workforce, focusing on generational differences and how Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers require different forms of motivation.
She said minimizing generational differences is highly important to keeping employees efficient and engaged, and educating employees is a good place to start.
"You need to educate your employees on what these [generational] differences are," she said. "Develop a learning culture and foster a learning culture."
"Costs are controllable," said Ann Geier, RN, vice president of clinical informatics of surgery at SourceMedical. "That's the one thing as administrators and physicians you have in your power. But you can only control them if you know what they are."
Supply chain and materials management is one of the largest areas of spend in hospitals, so hospitals ought to pay attention to this area to determine areas of cost savings.
Ms. Geier said one key way to manage materials management costs is to allocate one person to oversee all the supply chain operations. Instead of having three different employees noting and ordering certain supplies, having one designated person placing orders can reduce excess inventory and cost.
Similarly, Ms. Geier suggested limiting inventory on hand. "You're a surgery center, not a hospital," she said, adding ASCs don't need to have excessive stock. Facilities can control this by ordering supplies based on scheduled surgeries for the upcoming week.
Benchmarking and collecting data
Collected data doesn't serve a great purpose unless facilities are using it, said Robert Westergard, CFO of ASCOA. This is where the daily, weekly and monthly reports become of significant importance.
"Imagine flying an airplane," he said. "If you couldn't see and had no tools, would you fly the airplane? The daily report is your instrument. Your reports give you the information you need to adjust course and make sure you don't crash."
The collected data also serves the long-run, allowing facilities to compare with other facilities and make improvements based on benchmarks. "The things we benchmark are the things that are in our control," Mr. Westergard said. "They're the things that allow us to adjust."
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