7 Aspects of an ASC That Physicians Like the Most

Bill Heath, chief development officer at Practice Partners in Healthcare in Birmingham, Ala., lists seven aspects of ambulatory surgery centers that physicians like the most.

1. Efficiency. In an ASC, "a physician can do a lot more surgery in less time," Mr. Heath says. "In one morning, he can do what would take him a day or two in the hospital." ORs in ASCs have a faster turnover time, around 7-9 minutes, compared with hospitals, and block scheduling allows the ASC-based surgeon to go from one case to the next.


2. Convenience. Block scheduling means the physician does not have to go back and forth between his office and the OR. In addition, the ASC is often situated near the physician-investor's practice, so he can just walk over.


3. Friendly atmosphere. Many physicians comment on the simple pleasure of working in an ASC. "Doctors tend to prefer the friendly atmosphere of a surgery center," Mr. Heath says. "You have a team to work with. In the hospital, sometimes it feels like everyone is just punching the clock."


4. Great investment. "A profitable ASC can be a great investment for a physician-owner," Mr. Heath says. Physician-owners may also invest in the real estate.


5. Attractive to patients. Patients often feel intimidated by the vastness and anonymity of hospitals, but they appreciate the compactness and friendly atmosphere of the ASC. Rather than parking in a deck and wandering through the hospital, they can drive right up to the ASC.


6. Relief from isolation. Many physicians in solo or small practices have resisted the trend toward employment at hospitals or large groups, but they may feel isolated. The ASC provides them with a link to the other physicians who are partnering with them in the ASC. "It's nice for them to feel that they have someone on their team," Mr. Heath says.

7. More control. At an ASC, "doctors have an opportunity to have things just the way they like them," Mr. Heath says. They can use the same surgical staff and even order preference packs for their cases. ASC staff members go out of their way to meet the physician's preferences. The hospital might not be as accommodating.


Learn more about Practice Partners in Healthcare.


More Articles Featuring Practice Partners in Healthcare:

7 Questions to Ask Before Adding a Specialty to a Single-Specialty ASC

6 Steps for Making Money on a Convenience ASC

3 Challenges When Combining Two ASCs Into One


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