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The Amazon.com for ASCs: Using collaborative consumption to improve the bottom line

At the 21st Annual Becker's ASC Conference in Chicago on Oct. 25, M. Brian Polsky, MD, of Orthopedic Associates of Maryland in Baltimore, and CMO of BeatMed, discussed how to use Internet technology to reduce overhead costs.

"The internet is incredibly powerful and has completely transformed industries," Dr. Polsky said. "This is what we need for an online community, a marketplace for the medical supplies."

Dr. Polsky argued that the Internet levels the playing field by cutting out distribution channels and allowing small clinics and suppliers to profit more. "[It provides] the ability for surgery centers to band together and have a real community for discussion of patient care."

The Internet also offers an online community for people to share experiences with products. Dr. Polsky said that while only 30 percent of people trust advertisers, nearly 92 percent of people trust peer recommendations. "If we have an online marketplace, especially from ASC to ASC, it's very powerful," Dr. Polsky said.

These recommendations and the platform online community work based on collaborative consumption, which hinges on four key things: critical mass, idling capacity, belief in the commons and trusting strangers.

"The surgical center community needs to band together and use internet technology, use price transparency and use social media to improve patient outcomes and improve the bottom line for business so we can all stay float and be successful," Dr. Polsky said.

More articles on information technology:

Eye Care & Surgery Center launches website 
Online Pre-Admission: Using Cloud-Based Technology to Maximize Productivity and Convenience 
Should anesthesiologists worry about computers taking their jobs? 

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