3 challenges 1 ASC faced when adding service lines

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Adding a service line requires a well-thought-out strategy in staff recruitment, equipment consolidation and education, according to one ASC nurse manager.

Lutherville, Md.-based Green Spring Station of Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center recently launched a total joint and electrophysiology program. Nurse manager Mahlet Ketema spoke with Becker's ASC Review on the biggest challenges her center faced in adding those service lines.

Question: What was the biggest challenge in adding a service line?

Mahlet Ketema: When I started out as an operating room manager for Johns Hopkins ASC two years ago, there was only one service line. The primary reason I was brought in was to establish service lines as fast and efficiently as possible and ramp up case volumes.

So, as it's the case with all new centers, the biggest challenge I had was recruiting, hiring and educating the right staff. As we ramped up with adding more service lines, it became evident that some service lines such as EP and total joint were not tried in ambulatory settings in any of Johns Hopkins ASCs.

Therefore, the second biggest challenge was to assemble a team specific for these cases and get everyone on the same page. This was particularly very challenging because none of my staff had cardiac experience, so there was a tremendous amount of planning and training involved including shadowing cardiac cases in the hospital setting and tweaking the workflow to an ambulatory setting.

The third biggest challenge was figuring out and consolidating equipment and instruments needed for these cases.

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