The strategy for 4 ASCs to recruit and retain a great staff

Four ASC administrative leaders discuss how they are solving their biggest staffing challenge: recruitment and retention.

Peter Graf. Business Manager for the Center for Pain Control and Wyomissing Surgical Services (Reading, Pa.): Competing with the local hospital for quality employees at a competitive salary is our biggest staffing challenge. It is difficult finding the right staff when the job descriptions differ from our ASC compared to the local hospitals, yet we have to offer similar compensation packages. We are a currently a single-specialty ASC and offer other benefits such as no night calls and no weekends. It is our hope that the other advantages will be taken into consideration by prospective applicants.

Lara Herndon. Regional Director of Operations for Prime MSO (Glendale, Calif.): Retaining staff has been difficult for us as a company. We have expended a lot of time, energy and resources training staff, i.e., AORN's Peri-op 101, only to have them leave us after their one-year commitment expires. Many of the nursing staff members leave for acute care facilities that are unionized and offer a far larger base salary that we can as independent ASCs.

Melissa Rice. Administrator of Hyde Park Same Day Surgicenter and Illinois Anesthesia Specialists (Chicago): Our biggest challenge is finding candidates to come to the center. Location is key and for us we are not in an ideal area. We have resorted to using agency nurses. 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.

Patrick Garman. Executive Administrator of Spartan Health Surgicenter (Monongahela, Pa.): Spartan's biggest staffing challenge has been finding the qualified clinical staff member who is willing to be compensated what a typical ASC can pay versus what that same clinician will be compensated for comparable work at a hospital. Recruiting and retaining solid part-time/per diem nurses and operating room techs, weaving them into the schedule so that it benefits the ASC is a challenge. These part-time/PRN clinicians enable an ASC to reap considerable profits due to flexibility, mobility and expense savings.

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