4 Areas for Successful ASCs to Benchmark Daily

Measurable benchmarks are crucial to running a successful surgery center. The most successful surgery centers track clinical, financial and efficiency-focused data. Administrators can track data from one month to the next to identify and project growth. They can also compare the center's data with local and national statistics to see how they compare. When surgery centers are involved with management companies, they can benchmark against other centers managed by the same company. They can also use numbers gathered by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and companies such as VMG Health to benchmark their center on a national stage.

In an excerpt from "13 Essential ASC Benchmarks & How to Stay Ahead," surgery center administrators discuss the benchmarks they look at daily.

1. Staffing needs.
Kathy Leibl, administrator at Blue Ridge Surgery Center in Raleigh, N.C., which is affiliated with Surgical Care Affiliates, directs her managers to utilize a daily hours log to help the center develop labor targets.

"The hours log helps us judge where we are going to be on our labor so we can develop our staffing needs and patient flow throughout the day," says Ms. Leibl.

Carolyn R. Hollowood, administrator at City Place Surgery Center in St. Louis, which is affiliated with Meridian Surgical Partners, says her surgery center also benchmarks staffing hours per patient. "I make sure the staffing involved coincides with the number of patients we have," she says. On a weekly basis, she examines how many hours each staff member is spending per patient from the time patients arrive at the office through their departure.

2. Spending reports. Ms. Leibl receives spending reports daily from SCA, which she compares to the estimated annual budget for the year. "This is a good tracking tool to allow us to see what our spending is on a daily basis," she says. "We can see if we are over or under budget."

If the center is over budget, Ms. Leibl meets with the purchasing coordinator to see whether there were any issues requiring special supplies for certain cases.

"These reports help us manage the inventory and our costs," says Ms. Leibl. "The purchasing coordinator knows the supplies he needs and he reviews special needs with the OR manager before submitting them to me. I approve everything he orders or requisitions first. Once it's ordered and I've approved it, the order comes back to me before we pay for it."

3. Case volume. Monitoring case volume daily is essential, both to maximize volume for the month and to understand the long term trends.  Ms. Leibl and her team compare each physician's volume to their plan for the month and use the information to have conversations with the doctors and the office staff.

"We try to plan for every physician vacation when we set the budget and it's not always perfect so by studying the data daily and having an open dialogue with the doctors about their volumes we can identify opportunities to capture more cases," says Ms. Leibl.

4. Patient satisfaction. Surgery centers should have a way to measure patient satisfaction, which often means collecting patient satisfaction surveys. At Ms. Leibl's surgery center, patients can drop their surveys in a lock box before leaving the center and she tracks their responses.

"I can monitor the feedback from patients, which alerts me if there is an issue," says Ms. Leibl. "At least once per week we have core leadership team meetings of the management team and we discuss any issues that arise. We are a very close knit group, and meeting regularly helps us communicate. That's important to having a successful facility."

More Articles on Surgery Center Benchmarks:

20 Statistics on Physician Compensation for 5 Key Surgery Center Specialties

20 New Statistics on Surgery Center Staffing Costs

16 New Statistics on Surgery Center EBIDTA

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