ASCs often struggle to compete for staff against the deep pockets of hospitals in their market, but employees are often drawn to ASCs for the workplace flexibility and positive work culture.
Here are three ways ASCs are shifting the workplace and improving staff members' day-to-day experience:
1. Four-day workweek
Four-day workweeks can reduce stress levels, create gains in efficiency and revenue and allow employees to sleep better and exercise more, according to a study from nonprofit advocacy group 4 Day Week Global that looked at dozens of companies.
Some ASCs are finding success in cutting one day of the workweek.
"We adjusted our block schedule to a four-day workweek, which turned out to be a staff satisfier and had a very positive impact on our productivity and efficiency," Genevieve Kragness, PhD, RN, nurse manager of surgical services at Marshfield (Wis.) Medical Center, told Becker's. "Staff love having Fridays off and are more willing to work extra and pick up open shifts since this change."
Ms. Kragness added that the move allowed her team's block utilization to jump from 46% to 75% in less than a year and that procedure volume is higher than it was last year.
"This decision was surprisingly effective and has been one of the best changes we've made in recent history," she added.
2. New technology
Although new technology and EHRs can be an expensive investment for ASCs, many leaders find it improves employee satisfaction and engagement.
"The biggest change we have made this year that has had the biggest positive impact on our surgery center is partnering with Ospitek and embracing new technology," James Chappuis, MD, founder and CEO of Spine Center Atlanta, told Becker's. "Ospitek provides software and technology solutions promoting better patient experience and workforce productivity. This year, we have seen improvement in our efficiency of communication, education and patient care excellence. The technology helps us build a bridge between ourselves and our patients to provide peace of mind, even through the increasing volumes and demands of an outpatient setting."
3. Implementing new roles
John Prunskis, MD, CEO and medical director of the Elgin-based Illinois Pain & Spine Institute, told Becker's the change that has made the biggest difference in his organization is having a "scheduling coordinator whose sole job description was to get advanced pain procedures approved."
Many leaders have said prior authorization is one of the biggest issues in the ASC industry, and 81% of group practice executives say prior authorization is very or extremely burdensome, according to the Medical Group Management Association's "Annual Regulatory Burden Report."
Creating roles to target this issue, while costly, could save a lot of work for ASCs in the long run.