6 ASC leaders on building a positive culture

Earlier this year, Becker's ASC Review asked six ASC administrators to share how they build and maintain a positive culture at their facilities.

Note: Responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.

Myra Eleby-Hankerson, MSN, RN, administrator of Midtown Surgery Center (New York City): You must be trustworthy. Even in a toxic environment, the staff must know that you are available, judgment-free and fair across the board.

Michelle Fischer, administrator of Christus Santa Rosa Physicians Ambulatory Surgery Center-Stone Oak (San Antonio): I believe in being visible and supportive for the staff and in always setting the example by my behavior and actions, and I expect the same from my leaders within the ASC. I see my role as the resource for the staff and physicians to ensure they have what they need to take the best care of our patients. As the leader, and to maintain our positive culture, I have an open-door policy and enjoy showing our associates how much we appreciate them by having associate appreciation events at the facility to include monthly birthday celebrations, potluck lunches, games and drawings during special events throughout the year, etc. When the associates are happy to come to work and feel supported and appreciated, the patients, families and physicians also feel the warmth and positive culture, leading to better outcomes.

Patrick Garman, executive administrator at Spartan Health Surgicenter (Monongahela, Pa.): I tell all my staff to strive to make sure that every subsequent year is better than the one before. And that when they are the subject of a patient or surgeon's praise, to proudly embrace that comment (due to a positive outcome) and strive to make it that way 100 percent of the time.

Melissa Rice, administrator of Hyde Park Same Day Surgicenter and Illinois Anesthesia Specialists (Chicago): We definitely have a family atmosphere at the center. We spend more time together than with our families, so keeping things light and communication open and flowing has helped.

Peter Graf, business manager at Center for Pain Control and Wyomissing Surgical Services (Reading, Pa.): When things get stressful, I try to remain calm and look for a solution instead of feeding into it (there are always two or more sides to a story). … We have also implemented an employee appreciation week (instead of celebrating nurses' week, rad-tech day, administrative assistant day separately), where the managers will honor the employees by providing lunch, games, etc., throughout the week. For example, one morning I brought my espresso machines to work and served cappuccinos, lattes, mochaccinos and macchiatos.

Lara Herndon, regional director of operations for Prime MSO (Glendale, Calif.): As long as I am enjoying what I am doing, the staff seem to as well. We often do team-building activities. I am never afraid to admit that I am wrong, or to ask a team member's opinion.

Interested in participating in future Becker's Q&As? Email Angie Stewart: astewart@beckershealthcare.com.

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