Managing anesthesia services in ASCs — 5 top problems + solutions

ASC managers and administrators consider booking anesthesia services for a case to be the most challenging part of managing anesthesia services, according to Sedaze Anesthesia Consultants CEO Amin Azam.

Concord, Calif.-based Sedaze Anesthesia Consultants asked ASC managers and administrators in California to share their top challenges when it comes to anesthesia services and offered ways to handle each obstacle.

Five top challenges:

1. Booking anesthesia services for a case is inefficient and time-consuming.

2. The anesthesia group sends different providers every week, disturbing daily workflow.

3. Obtaining consistent anesthesia coverage for all cases is difficult.

4. The anesthesia company's anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists don't share the ASC's "customer-centric" mindset.

5. Some anesthesiologists don't adapt to the outpatient setting.

Solutions for the top challenges:

1. During the hiring process, ensure the anesthesia group's case-booking methodology allows booking times to be easily changed. Ask the group to walk office staff through the booking process.

2. Convey the importance of consistent staffing by explaining how provider changes affect operational efficiency. If necessary, collaborate with anesthesia leadership to create an orientation manual for new providers.

3. Find out how the anesthesia provider handles last-minute bookings. Discuss having flexible per-diem providers and use a "tentative case" category before cases are officially booked to give the anesthesia group time to arrange providers.

4. Ask about the group's customer-service philosophy and conflict-resolution strategies before partnering. Ensure the group has a mission statement and effective onboarding process for new staff.

5. Be wary of anesthesia groups in which most providers spend less than 10 percent of their time servicing ASCs. Look for groups with providers who work in outpatient settings at least 30 percent of the time.

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