Competing with deep hospital pockets: How ASC leaders can leverage employment

Hospitals have robust budgets, making it difficult for many ASCs to offer competitive salaries. But they can make up for this by fostering a positive workplace culture and providing incentives, ASC leaders say. 

Job satisfaction hinges on good leadership, Greg DeConciliis, CASC, administrator of Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites, told Becker's ASC Review.

"[It's] an art to try and keep employees," he said. "You want to retain your employees because you often find that when competing with the hospitals and hospital systems, they're paying a lot more than an ASC because they have deeper pockets."

Incentives can help. Joel Rainwater, MD, CMO of Comprehensive Surgical Care, is tackling staff burnout through bonuses and team-building events. 

"In response to this concern, we focus on providing a supportive environment with a collegial atmosphere to encourage staff engagement," he said. "We focus on the importance of acknowledging hard work and commitment, in addition to the value of saying 'thank you.'"

For Jennifer Cabrera, a physician assistant at DOCS Surgery Center in Los Angeles, "one bad apple can spoil the bunch," so maintaining a positive work culture is critical. 

"At DOCS, we are constantly working to ensure that our team feels valued and that we manifest a positive culture where contributions are recognized and appreciated," she said. 

ASC leaders can facilitate this culture through open and transparent communication, Andrew Lovewell, administrator of the Surgical Center at Columbia (Mo.) Orthopaedic Group, told Becker's ASC Review. 

"Creating a positive, consistent and transparent atmosphere that enriches the lives of all patients, employees and providers is essential to assuring a future for the organization," he said.

Samantha Bell, the post-anesthesia care unit nurse manager of Lutherville, Md.-based Green Spring Station of Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center, attributes her center's service line growth to her workplace culture. 

"Unless you have the support of your staff, you really can't do anything," she said.  

Solid staff support is the building block of growth, leaders say. 

"That’s why I feel we have been so successful and why DOCS has been able to expand at such an accelerated rate," Ms. Cabrera said. "Every person — from our physician owners, the nursing staff, to the administrative team — is passionate and clear on the company vision and are all willing to roll up our sleeves to get the job done."

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