How shift in thinking, tech investment amid pandemic is paying off for Missouri ASC

Matthew Ewasko, administrator of Physicians Alliance Surgery Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo., faced challenges last year when the pandemic hit.

Elective surgeries were limited in many areas across the U.S., and personal protective equipment became harder to find. Mr. Ewasko kept his eye on the future to make sure his center continued operations and would be in a good position for growth.

Here is how he answered the question: What is the smartest thing you did in the past year to set your center up for success in the future?

Matthew Ewasko: Over the past year we have become much more forward-looking in our approach. Prior to the pandemic, we looked more at historical trends and possible one to two months in the future when considering decisions for the facility. Now we are looking at least three months if not more in the future when we are considering changes or purchases.

One example of this was our decision to create an emergency inventory supply on key items due to possible shortages we heard about and saw coming in our supply chain from key vendors. This not only enabled us to continue our normal case volumes, and therefore meet the needs of our surgeons, but also allowed us to prevent paying premium prices to acquire those items from third-party vendors. While this was a hard decision to make at the time, we have come to realize that it was absolutely the right thing to do since we are seeing those supply issues with some items at the present time.

One other item that we decided to do was invest in technology to improve our overall patient experience. We are reducing the amount of patient contact prior to surgery with online patient registration capabilities. This investment continues through the surgery procedure and even after the patient goes home with the ability to pay their bills online. This has expedited the payment process for us, while making it much simpler for our patients who don’t want to write a check or give credit card information over the phone.

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