ASC strategy & key leadership skills — 3 Qs with consultant Andy Hillig

With more than 10 years of experience, healthcare consultant Andy Hillig specializes in developing leadership and improving operational efficiency in surgical settings.

Mr. Hillig, who runs Andy Hillig Solutions, told Becker's ASC Review his thoughts on business strategy and key leadership skills:

Note: Responses have been edited for length and style.

Question: What's the first step outpatient surgery centers should take to improve efficiency?

Andy Hillig: As ASCs continue to emerge and grow in numbers as a lower-cost, more efficient alternative to hospital-based outpatient surgery programs, it's important for ASC leadership to uphold the cornerstones of their rise in popularity in this 'value over volume' era of healthcare: accessibility, predictability and fast turnaround.

If performance is not meeting expectations, then the ASC needs to get to the root causes of why not. Once the root causes are known, the leadership and the personnel need to take a defined course of action, using a standard methodology such as Lean [Six Sigma] to improve processes.

Q: If staff members are resistant to change, what approach should ASC administrators take to implement new strategies?

AH: A great administrator need to be constantly alert to the tone of the ASC as well as any industry trends, as a first step to managing change. Successful administrators will have their sleeves rolled up and [be] involved in the daily operations so that they are in tune with the environment and alert to any changes in tone of the workplace. They are also very good about communicating any changes and trends they see. Keeping personnel informed of what's going on in the external environment helps personnel to understand the 'why' behind changes and the need for new strategies. Additionally, a good administrator is also deliberate in sharing and discussing daily performance of the ASC, so that when a change is needed, the evidence speaks for itself and everyone agrees that change is necessary.

Q: What are three qualities the most successful ASC leaders possess?

AH: A good ASC leader is one part hard skills [such as exceptional business acumen] and two part soft skills.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Angie Stewart at

For a deeper dive into ASC industry trends, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-15, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.

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