Why analytics are right for ASCs today

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Analytics allow ASCs to ask better and more advanced questions about their operational performance and identify new opportunities for improvement.

Amit Jiwani, director of analytics at AmkaiSolutions, discussed analytics and their use at "Becker's ASC 23rd Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs" on October 27.

To maximize the benefits of an analytics solution, all an ASC user needs to do is have an open mind and be willing to explore the solution's capabilities.

In an ASC, analytics can take a statement like, "The on-time percentage was 56 percent this month," and add more context, such as what is causing the delay in the on-time percentage. With analytics, simple statements can be analyzed on multiple levels that ultimately yield action-oriented statements. In the example provided, such a statement may be: "We need to ensure surgeon presence is mandatory prior to patients entering the OR because the on-time percentage was 56 percent this month, down from last quarter's average of 62 percent; the most common delay reason is surgeon delay."

"That's a policy change an ASC can make, and an action it can take to see immediate improvement," Mr. Jiwani said.

For a center just starting to use analytics, the solution's potential may seem overwhelming. The good news is that an analytics system built specifically for ASCs should provide simple, initial choices for staff to make that will return helpful data while staff develop comfort in using the solution.

"Start by identifying some of the key metrics critical to your operation, and address those first," Mr. Jiwani said. "Then, as you get more comfortable with the solution, you can explore new options and dig even deeper into your ASC's data."

In another example, Mr. Jiwani discussed OR turnover time. He presented a table which provided scheduled wheels-in times, actual wheels-in times, scheduled wheels-out times and actual wheels-out times for individual cases in a single day.

With each case graphed individually, the chart revealed that the day progressed, wheel-in times kept moving later than scheduled. With this level of details, he noted that ASCs could work to address the causes of the lagging start times while adjusting the schedule accordingly, which would help reduce turnover time. By reducing turnover time, an ASC could reduce labor cost (if staff were working overtime for later running cases) and possibly add more cases.

Mr. Jiwani says that ASCs are under tremendous pressures to control costs, increase revenue, and demonstrate quality, and reporting alone just won’t cut it anymore. ASCs are increasingly making IT investments, and an analytics solution that delivers clear and actionable data is a logical next step.

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