Sandra Berreth, RN, director of the Foothill Surgery Center at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, Calif., joined Becker's to discuss what ASCs can do to attract physicians.
Question: How can ASCs attract physicians?
Sandra Berreth: That's an interesting question and, based on my knowledge set, it used to be that just the idea of working in an efficient environment like an ASC was enough. So we would contact surgeons and appeal to their nature of efficiency with helpful productive staff (that would often get them interested). The hook was ownership — if ownership was available, that was always a necessary part of the equation. It is not that easy anymore, with hospitals employing the docs, these physicians are often restricted to work in the [hospital outpatient departments] and main operating rooms of those healthcare organizations.
How does an ASC do that? ASCs give the surgeon back time and quality. The processes that are innate in an ASC are efficiency (ASCs appeal to the docs); great staff with caring and resilient attitudes to just getting it done; time management (turn-over, scheduling, staying on time); quality management, in other words. Doing what needs to be done as soon as possible; infection prevention; safety protocols.