Starting from scratch: 2 Cardinal Health experts on opening a new ASC

Opening a freestanding ASC or one in a medical office building is a long process that requires careful planning each step of the way.

Two Cardinal Health consultants broke down the process of planning and building an ASC into five steps, from identifying services to ordering supply, in the March 30 webinar, "From the ground up — Expert insights on building and opening a new ASC."

The presentation, moderated by Becker's Hospital Review Editor-in-Chief Ayla Ellison, comprised:

  • Marvella Thomas, MSN, senior consultant of clinical operations (ASCs)
  • Helene Levenson, RN, senior consultant of clinical operations

Ms. Thomas and Ms. Levenson also answered audience questions. Here are their thoughts about planning an ASC in an existing building and recent trends in the ASC space:

Note: Responses were edited for style and length.

Question: When considering building a new ASC in an existing medical office building, what are the main requirements or desired features the building must have?

Marvella Thomas: That's kind of a difficult question. We've seen ambulatory surgery centers that used to be a Taco Bell.

Some of the things you're going to have to consider are, "What type of plumbing and electricity capabilities does that area have?" Look on the outside of the building. How are your patients going to park? How are they going to access the building? How are deliveries going to be made? How is your waste going to be picked up?

Look for those areas of ingress and egress into the facility and make sure that it's going to meet all of those needs. We've seen some facilities that have been built in existing spaces that maybe had a large weight-bearing wall that could not be moved, and it was right in the middle of the hallway accessing the doors. … I think those are the main things. See what's available in that facility, how it's going to meet your needs and if it's going to need major revision or remodeling before it's actually going to meet the needs of an ambulatory center.

Q: What trends are you seeing in new ASCs?

Helene Levenson: One of the trends I have been seeing is that a lot of facilities are now building a more one-stop shop for the patients. A lot of the newer facilities are including things like labs and physical therapy and anything that the patient is needing pre- and post-surgery. They're trying to manage that under one roof and expand to focus on the patient's needs and make it easier for them. I have seen a lot of ASCs that are including a lot of the other areas for the patients to be able to do everything under one roof.

View the full webinar here.

More articles on surgery centers:
7 ASC moves in Arizona
Infections and acquisitions: 5 supply chain updates for ASCs
2 ASC administrators on supply chain strategy in 2021


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