How this California ASC became one of Newsweek's top ASCs

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based 90210 Surgery Medical Center was ranked in Newsweek's top 10 ASCs of 2021. The ASC's leaders noted that while the pandemic was a challenge, it provided key insights on surgery migration and leadership. 

Newsweek partnered with consumer research company Statista to develop the list, highlighting 400 centers in 25 states. 

Benita Tapia, RN, the center's administrator, and Andy Ball, the center's chief executive, spoke with Becker's ASC Review on the success of the center, which is one of Beverly Hills ASC Venture's four facilities. 

Here are four reasons behind the success:

Hospital partnership 

90210 Surgery Medical Center is an affiliate of non-profit hospital Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, which was helpful in increasing caseload during the pandemic, Ms. Tapia said. When the hospital had a surgery backlog from pandemic delays, the center opened its operating rooms to surgeons whose patients had medically necessary surgeries.

Some surgeons have continued performing surgeries at the center even as backlog abated. Between the four centers, 45 physicians have been added to the team, Mr. Ball said. 

"We're busier than we've ever been. We can accommodate these surgeons, so they could have access to operating room times, and they realized they don't need to go back to the hospital," Mr. Ball said.

"It's becoming clear that bigger and more complex cases can be performed safely at ASCs," Ms. Tapia said. "We now understand that some complex spine procedures can be done safely with the patients returning to home sooner."

Thinking "outside the box"

The team had to adapt to the influx of surgeries from Cedars-Sinai and changing COVID-19 restrictions, but they also had to think creatively and proactively about supply chain and resource concerns.

"We were extremely proactive when we knew there was a shortage of [personal protective equipment]," Ms. Tapia said. "We had a materials manager get PPE from multiple vendors so at no point did we have a shortage. When we couldn't get surgical gowns, we got linen gowns sterilized. We all came together as a team to think outside the box."

Open communication

Throughout the pandemic, the center had a meeting every morning to make sure everyone was on the same page about the changing COVID-19 rules and updates. They listened to staff concerns about issues like mask access or testing. 

When surgery centers in the area were shutting down, leadership had to ensure patients and staff that the center was safe.

"We had dialogue with the staff telling them that this is the best information we have right now," Mr. Ball said. "We reassured them they were safe and listened to their concerns. With patients, we explained exactly how we were keeping them safe." 

Strong leadership

Mr. Ball also attributed success to Ms. Tapia's reassurance and support as the administrator. 

"Benita was able to drive that leadership and push them when they were nervous about COVID-19, but also provide a safe environment for them to do it," he said. 

"It's not me, it's us. It's a team," Ms. Tapia added. "It's the team we've brought together that has brought the success."

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