Johns Hopkins' innovative ASC model gives patients, physicians best of 3 worlds 

The ASCs at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins have a unique benefit: access to research, education and a health system.

The organization, dubbed the Johns Hopkins Surgery Center Series, serves patients at seven locations and is a joint venture between Johns Hopkins Health System and its school of medicine.  

"That joint governance structure ensures that we're balancing our needs from a health system perspective and ASC perspective," Brian Geissler, vice president and chief administrative officer for ASCs for Johns Hopkins Health System, told Becker's ASC Review.

Being an integrated health system operating in a small geographic health system allows Johns Hopkins to coordinate planning across ASCs and optimize resources. 

Unlike freestanding ASCs, Johns Hopkins structure and mission give the ASCs the opportunity to cater to community needs rather than business needs, Mr. Geissler said. The organization can leverage the entity to build, for example, an ASC in an underserved community. 

The academic backing also allows the health system to be innovators in ambulatory research and education, Lisa Ishii, MD, an otolaryngologist and president of the Johns Hopkins Surgery Center Series told Becker's ASC Review.

For physicians, the model gives access to different facilities appropriate for the type of patient and procedure that they are treating — a hospital in some cases, an ASC in others. The organization also gets to train the next generation of physicians as the migration of procedures to the outpatient setting accelerates.

This is key because physicians need to be trained on how ASCs operate to ensure efficiency, Mr. Geissler said. 

"Often that training lacks ASC experience," he said. "I think, as an industry, we need to partner better with academics. In our case at Johns Hopkins, thankfully, that's who we are."

This flexibility is also a benefit Johns Hopkins patients can enjoy. The model gives more site options for patients to receive their procedures. 

"As an academic health system, we have fully embraced this fully-owned model to add to our portfolio of resources that we can provide to our patients and providers," Dr. Ishii said. "And we're really excited about embracing them as sites for learners and sites for research and would encourage our peers to do the same."

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