What first time ASC administrators need to know for success — Key tips from 4 seasoned veterans

Four ASC leaders share their best advice for new ASC administrators.

Patrick Garman. Executive Administrator at Spartan Health Surgicenter (Monongahela, Pa.): This depends on what the new administrator is walking into: is the job a start-up operation or a turnaround? It almost requires different skill sets.

The start-up is timeline-oriented, strategic thinking-[and] budget/business plan-focused, organized by-the-book type of skillset. This newly hired administrator has deadlines, regulatory and licensing concerns, construction and completion goals, capital purchasing, assembling a new staff and recruitment of new surgeons. This individual must be laser-focused, on point and very well organized.

The turnaround position is much more volatile. He/she is walking into a failed facility that could be marked for sale (change of ownership) or closure. Serious changes have to be made, the status quo must be challenged, in many cases involuntary departures are in order and a new team must be assembled (most important are a DON and business office manager). This new administrator better be prepared to commit to long hours, tactical decisions on a daily basis and surrounding himself/herself with a tough, loyal and committed team of staff members and surgeons. This new team must all understand what is at stake (saving the ASC) and demonstrate an unwavering dedication to the successful turnaround.

Melissa Rice. Administrator of Hyde Park Same Day Surgicenter and Illinois Anesthesia Specialists (Chicago): Work side by side with your employees. Physically learn their job and challenges. This will help you better understand the role and needs.

Lara Herndon. Regional Director of Operations for Prime MSO (Glendale, Calif.): Read everything you can find on ASCs. Subscribe to Becker's ASC Review and other subscriptions that provide such valuable insights.

Peter Graf. Business Manager for Center for Pain Control and Wyomissing Surgical Services (Reading, Pa.): Teamwork at an ASC is no different than in other industries:

1. Know what every employee's job entails.
2. Delegate; nobody can do it all.
3. Use the strengths of each employee, avoid their weakness (or work on improving it).
4. Attempt to achieve a consensus with team decisions.
5. Don't be a friend, especially not on any social platform. Maintain professional boundaries with the staff.
6. Listen.
7. Do not reinvent the wheel; know what was tried before and failed/succeeded.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com

For a deeper dive into ASC operations, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-5, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.

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