Victoria Calliet of Wooster (Ohio) Ambulatory Surgery Center spoke with Becker's ASC Review about the challenges administrators face and strategies to overcome these obstacles.
Question: What are some specific challenges you face as an administrator and how have you overcome?
Victoria Calliet: The biggest challenge I have experienced at Wooster Ambulatory Surgery Center has been human resources. Since administrators do many roles in an ASC as the administrator, the human resource liaison has been challenging. I think the sooner you learn, as an administrator, you will not be able to make everyone happy at once the better off you will be. As the administrator, you have to train your physicians and managers on how to listen to the staff's concerns and ensure they do not make promises to the staff they may not be able to grant.
We have a human recourse consultant available to the ASC staff, management and physicians so they don't have to go through me to get in touch with their concerns. This has seemed to help.
Q: What are key strategies that can build successful relationships with you center's physician partners? How do you manage the many personalities to ensure the ASC is both efficient and profitable?
VC: I like to meet our new physicians as soon as possible and start to build a relationship with them by helping them get their preferences to use at the center. I will also ask a staff member to assist them on getting what supplies they are used to or what we have in place of [those supplies]. I ask this staff member to verify we have everything the physicians need for their cases for a few months to help transition them smoothly.
While it is true that there are many personalities to deal with, I think the personal aspect helps smooth things out. I routinely have a staff person show the physician the costs of their requests versus the reimbursements. I find that money usually talks with physicians.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give an administrator just starting at a surgery center?
VC: Allow yourself to think outside the box. Don't expect that everyone will do the job the same as you would; this just causes you extra stress. Instead, look and see if how they are doing something is safe, efficient and practical. If so, don't stress that you would have done it differently.
Learn more from Ms. Calliet the 24th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs in October 2017. Click here for more information.
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