'Springfield's best kept secret' — How Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Illinois keeps patients coming back

Springfield, Ill.-based Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Illinois Director Kim Schultz, BSN, RN, told Becker's ASC Review about the center's recent affiliation, its major successes and how it caters to patients.

Note: Responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: How does your center's affiliation help it stand out from a crowded field?

Kim Schultz: As a [Springfield-based Memorial Health System] affiliate, we are able to standardize across the health system for improved purchasing agreements, pricing and contracts. As an affiliate, we have been able to attract the cream-of-the-crop staff, as our salaries and benefits are very competitive. This gives us a better work environment for our surgeons and physicians who enjoy working here. We are able to utilize [the system's] contracts, human resources, education, risk management, bio-medical, purchasing and accounting services that if offered solely at the ASC would be cost prohibitive and would most likely need to be performed by a person wearing many hats.

Q: How has the affiliation helped your center find success?

KS: The collaboration between the two partners has been impressive. Unlike most affiliations, ours is a 50-50 model between the two owner groups, with contractual arrangements for services. This was really ahead of its time when it was developed in 1999. At a time when ASC growth was just starting, this model of a 50-50 arrangement was really rare. Today, it is becoming more common.

The focus on the patient [is] the center of everything we do. Our staff works hard to create a pleasant experience for patients and their families.

Our physicians all have a vested interest in our success. They are much more engaged in the financial aspects of our services than probably at a hospital.

Q: In an environment where patients have more choice than ever before, what is your center doing differently to appeal to patients?

KS: We perform a very detailed benchmarking dashboard across many different items. We are able to use this information in sharing our results with referring physicians from the area.

Our patient satisfaction with the services at the ASC has historically been very good. I believe patients would rather visit here for many reasons. We provide a very personal experience by developing a personal relationship with all our patients, which starts prior to the day of their procedure. Our location allows us to provide an environment that isn't over-crowded [like] most hospitals, where parking is easier, it's a small building and everything is within walking distance. Patients and surgeons love our turnaround. Our delays are few and our waits are limited. Patients love it. Our surgeons feel they can perform more procedures, improving their time management.

We consider ourselves Springfield's best kept secret. When people find us and use our services, they come back.

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