The operational issues 7 ASC execs will tackle next year

As more higher acuity cases move into the outpatient and ASC setting, many surgery centers are focused on preparing for that transition and higher volumes.

Here, seven ASC administrators answer the question: What aspect of your ASC operations are you focused on improving the most next year?

Lisa Davis. Administrator for The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (Munster, Ind.): Accuracy of data — everything from items charged to patient, time in OR, staff time and supply pricing. The more accurate data your facility has, the more capability it will have to enter into discussions with employers and/or payers that were not previously possible. When you can not only state, but prove the value that your facility offers, you will be able to enter into mutually beneficial partnerships that others are just not able manage if they are not doing the same.

Brooke Day. Administrator of Hastings (Neb.) Surgery Center: We are always interested in ways that we can improve or enhance our patient experience. We are hoping to renovate an office space into an extended stay recovery room with attached bathroom. This recovery area would be used for patients that we typically keep longer such as hysterectomies or tonsils, we could also use this space in the future if we decide to pursue outpatient total joints.

We are also planning things behind the scenes to improve the quality of care we are providing. We would like to invest significant capital this year in upgrading our sterile processing area. We have worked very closely with our Steris representatives and our local contractors to renovate the space to not only meet current standards but be forward thinking in the cases we could be doing in the future with the shift from inpatient to outpatient care.

Christine Washick, RN, CASC. Administrator of Triangle Orthopaedics Surgery Center (Raleigh, N.C.): We plan to continually strive to improve the patient and family experience. Patient education through technology, personalized care, comfortable and aesthetic surroundings. Standardizing patient care pathways by service line.

JoAnn M. Vecchio. Administrator and CEO of ASC of WNY (Amherst, N.Y.): We are always looking to improve the case costing data and analytics at our center. This item is at the top of our list for the upcoming year to try and present more specific and streamlined data that is easily benchmarked against like specialties internally as well as externally.

Chariesse Fizer, RN, MSN, FACHE. Vice President of Clinical Operations and Ambulatory Services for AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health (Atlantic City, N.J.): Throughput, new technology like MAKO, and payer strategies.

Chris Flores. CEO of East Loop Surgery Center (Odessa, Texas) and Vista Surgery Centers (Midland, Texas): Our greatest area of focus will be volume growth through additional physician recruitment, and secondarily will be herding the cats to reduce case cost. This is a bit like the whack-a-mole game that is a management function. Our facility is at 80 percent or more utilization. If we add many more cases, we will be expanding the facility.

R. Todd Warren. CEO of GI Associates & Endoscopy Center (Flowood, Miss.): We are focused on these three items:

1. Quality — We're always focused on infection prevention, our adverse drug reaction and other quality metrics. These are items we review consistently.

2. Efficiency — We track out slot utilization and efficiency of our ASC. Although our efficiency is good, it is important to assess our flows and processes routinely.

3. C.A.R.E. — We are focused on C.A.R.E. (our patient and staff engagement program). CARE stands for Compassion, Anticipation, Respect and Empathy.

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