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ASCs 2014 & Beyond: Why ASCA President Terry Bohlke is Excited for the Future

Terry BohlkeThe Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) elected Terry Bohlke president during the ASCA annual meeting in May.

Mr. Bohlke is the vice president of operations at National Surgical Hospitals and has been an ASCA board member since 2009. He also previously served as president of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association.

Mr. Bohlke has a wealth of experience in the healthcare and ambulatory surgery center field, including more than five years as the CEO and administrator of a seven-operating room surgery center. In his new role with ASCA, he hopes to address several of the big issues in the industry and continue advocacy efforts for the ASC Quality & Access Act of 2013 as it gains sponsors from the House of Representatives and Senate; there are now 55 co-sponsors in the House and seven in the Senate plus the two sponsors.

"Every surgery center should be contacting their local federal Representative and Senators, asking them to sign on as a co-sponsor of this important legislation," says Mr. Bohlke. "Ambulatory surgery centers have a great story to tell: we provide superior quality at a lower cost. Telling this story, however, is one of the industry's biggest challenges."

To really move the industry forward, Mr. Bohlke sees a few key trends for the future:

•    Gathering and reporting quality data
•    Providing a great patient experience
•    Researching and promoting cost-savings

"Gathering and reporting data that compares the quality of care, safety and service experience in an ASC compared to other surgical alternatives is extremely complex," says Mr. Bohlke. "I also see it as one of our highest priorities. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association has partnered with the multidisciplinary Quality Collaboration to advance research and improve quality reporting."

Last year, ASCA began enrolling ASCs in a benchmarking initiative to gather data and share information. "We are very pleased with the number of surgery centers that are included with the initial rollout of the benchmarking program and we believe that the program is going to grow significantly over the next year and far into the future."

As he takes the reins at ASCA — which represents more than 2,700 surgery centers nationwide — Mr. Bohlke hopes to extend ASCA membership and encourage more people to become involved in industry advocacy.

"With more members, our voice in Washington increases," he says. "During my tenure, my goal is to grow our surgery center membership to include well over 3,000 ASCs. I am passionate about education and I believe the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association has one of the most robust educational opportunities of any association."

There are many benefits to ASCA membership, and soon the organization will release an online training series targeted specifically to ASCs and covering topics like infection prevention, safe medication administration and HIPAA training.

"ASCs will be able to use this series to orient new staff and to help meet regulatory and compliance requirements, assess competency and engage all of their team members in improving the already outstanding quality of care they provide," says Mr. Bohlke.

There are many reasons for ASC owners and operators to be optimistic for the future and Mr. Bohlke is excited about the opportunity to represent an industry filled with hardworking and dedicated individuals. Additionally, the Certified Ambulatory Surgery Center credential has become a "must-have" for ASC management.

"I think we are in the right place at the right time. As a whole, ASCA represents a dynamic industry filled with wonderful people seeking a common goal of the best possible care for the surgical patient," he says. "I am honored to be associated with such wonderful people serving this most noble mission."

For ASC industry members wishing to become more involved, ASCA has a solid foundation to help members access their national representatives with the Washington DC Fly-In as well as local initiatives supported by ASCAPAC.

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