Management Tips for a More Productive ASC Staff
The process all starts with hiring the right person. "We're very small, with 12 employees, so it's important for that person to fit in," Ms. Thrasher said of her surgery center. She recommended asking questions that allow the interviewer to get to know the potential employee — one of her favorites is "If you were to be on the cover of a magazine, what would it be and why?"
Ms. Thrasher also noted it is important to clearly define the position during the interview, so there are no surprises if the candidate takes the position.
Once employees are brought on board, recognizing them is a key part of getting the most out of ASC staff. Ms. Thrasher uses the RESPECT program at her ASC — Recognizing Excellent Service Promotes Employee Commitment and Teamwork. Employees can be recognized through the program if they are mentioned on a patient satisfaction survey or if they are nominated by their peers. The RESPECT program opens every monthly staff meeting at the surgery center.
Ms. Martin takes a slightly different approach to employee recognition. "I do hand-written notes, sent to their home address," she explained, when an employee goes above and beyond or continues to work hard and support the surgery center. "[Employees] think no one notices what they do," she said, but the notes are a personal way to show them their hard work has not gone unnoticed.
Cross-training employee is also a great way to get more out of an ASC staff. "It's not an option," to not cross train, Ms. Thrasher said of her ASC. So, she trains her nurses so they can float between all positions, and the cross training starts almost immediately after a nurse joins the ASC.
Finally, one of the main ways ASCs can reduce costs through staffing is by staffing based on cases, not set hours. In order to make this staffing model work, the surgery center has to be up-front about the hours from the start. "They know when we hire them the hours are based on cases," Ms. Thrasher said.
Overall, making sure the right people are hired, training them for success, recognizing them when they are successful and staffing based on cases are all ways ASCs can improve the productivity of their workers.
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