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6 key thoughts on strategic planning for ASCs

Scott Kulstad, executive director of musculoskeletal services at Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and a member of the board of directors for Minneapolis-based Ridges Surgery Center and Fairview Maple Grove (Minn.) Surgery Center, discusses how to approach strategic planning in today's volatile healthcare environment and what to expect in the future.

Join Mr. Kulstad at the Becker's ASC 24th Annual Meeting – The Business and Operations of ASCs on Oct. 26 to 28 in Chicago. Mr. Kulstad will speak on a panel about the future of ASC development amid healthcare reform. Click here to learn more and register.

Q: How do you approach strategic planning with the uncertainty surrounding healthcare at the national level?

Scott Kulstad: This is a challenging time for virtually everyone but for varying reasons. That said, strategic planning must contemplate and include the following general — and really obvious — guiding principles:

1. Efforts to make the provision of care safer, less costly, more equitable, and more effective must continue. No matter what Washington does with the ACA and the rules and regulations underneath it, we can all agree that planning focused on these principles will be part of most every plan.

2. Physicians and hospitals must find (more) ways for collaboration, and the regulatory environment must enable that. Although there are plenty of examples of effective collaboration, work on these fronts remains.

3. Access is currency.

4. High-reliability systems that deliver exceptional experience, quality and safety will ultimately prevail.

5. A patient's fidelity to health systems and physicians is waning. Put simply, costs and experience matter.

6. We must reduce the friction that exists in the white spaces between interactions and encounters. We don't tolerate friction with the user experience on our cell phones, why do we tolerate it in healthcare?

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