Ambulatory surgery centers, also known as ASCs, are healthcare facilities that provide same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures. Ambulatory surgery centers have made a significant difference in the outpatient experience for millions of patients by creating an easier alternative to hospital outpatient procedures. However, they differ from rural health clinics, urgent care centers, or ambulatory care centers. Ambulatory surgery centers treat only patients who have already seen a healthcare provider and have selected surgery to treat their condition. The most common specialties that are offered at Ambulatory surgery centers are neurology, urology, dermatology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, and gastrointestinal procedures. Most ambulatory surgery centers have less than 20 full-time employees and are many times smaller and more community based. Due to the unique services AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTERs provide, it is important to have a good management strategy. Listed below are seven helpful tips that can lead to an efficient management strategy for your ambulatory surgery center.
Identify your Top Physician
A top physician can make the life of an ASC manager easier by making it easier for the manager to communicate with other physicians or board members. However, an effective ambulatory surgery center manager should have the ability to accomplish a great deal without needing assistance from employees. It is always important to have another person to lean on. A top physician can also serve as a leader as they have gained the respect of other staff members. For example, if the manager cannot make it to the center, the top physician can step in and ensure all staff completes their work effectively and by the deadline. If an Ambulatory surgery center’s manager feels there needs to be a top physician, it is important to choose a staff member that shows high potential for success at the center. It may be smart for the manager to guide that staff member to be the top physician at the ambulatory surgery center. If an ambulatory surgery center manager is ever unsure of a decision, it is also helpful to have another capable staff member to provide useful insight.
Establish a Governing Board
It is required for all ambulatory surgery centers to have a governing body that takes all legal responsibility for determining, executing, and supervising policies governing the ambulatory surgery center’s total operation. It is required that the governing board have direct oversight over four main things. First, the board must administer the ambulatory surgery center’s quality assessment and performance (QAPI) program. The QAPI program is data-driven and ensures all ambulatory surgery center services are meeting quality standards and ensuring care reaches a specific level. Second, the board must supervise the quality of the ambulatory surgery center’s healthcare services to ensure all company standards are being met. Third, the board must oversee the safety of the ambulatory surgery center’s environment for both customers and employees. Lastly, the board must observe the development and maintenance of a disaster preparedness plan. The board is in charge of delegating leadership and management roles in all areas of business, including human resources, medical staff, surgical and nursing services, medical records maintenance, and more. While it is the manager’s job to supervise all employees and make sure the ambulatory care center is running smoothly, it is the governing board’s job to supervise that the manager is doing an effective job of managing the center. Considering all the areas that the board has to oversee, it is important to schedule regular meetings and give enough time to review all the necessary material that helps the center run smoothly. Most times, a productive board meeting can last an hour or an hour and a half, depending on the number of topics that need to be covered. In sum, establishing an effective governing board is key to managing an ambulatory care center, and it is key to have all board members be properly qualified to help manage the center and its employees.
Take Advantage of Social Media to Recruit Employees
Similar to all other areas of business, it is crucial to promote your business to attract both customers and potential employees. Promoting potential employees is different than promoting potential customers, as your center should be present on different social media platforms. To recruit potential employees, it is important to be present on various job boards that employees are using to get a job. The top three job sites your center should be on are Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. Indeed, is best overall and is free for anyone. However, for employers, there is the option to pay to sponsor your job posting to help attract more candidates. Just like other social media platforms, your center should be regularly posting on all job sites you are on because that is the best way to provide more information to job-seeking individuals. It will also help increase web traffic by linking your ambulatory surgery center’s website for the employee to find more information about your company. Glassdoor is also a good platform and is also free for companies and job seekers. This site makes it easier to see salary and employer information as well as current or previous employee reviews of the company. LinkedIn is also a great job site to be on as it is great for networking with both employees and other companies. It makes it easier to find and contact recruiters and managers and is simple to show previous employment and professional accomplishments. Similar to the other two, LinkedIn is also free to use and promotes your company for you by sending your job postings to candidates with relevant experience who have previously looked up similar jobs to the one your company posted. However, it is also important to have an effective online presence which is why it is important to have an updated and attractive website that ensures potential employees know it isn’t a scam or that your center is still functioning. Other social media platforms to be on to recruit employees are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is a great platform because its audience is mainly adults and has a variety of groups to join, which can include potential job openings. For example, there is a group on Facebook titled “Medical Field-Job Hiring” that is open to the public and makes it easy for employees near your center to see your job postings. Overall, social media is a great tool for promoting your ambulatory surgery center to both customers and potential employees as it makes more people aware of your ambulatory surgery center, which increases the potential for people to choose a full-time position at your ambulatory surgery center.
Implement an Efficient Patient Acquisition Strategy
To keep your ASC running smoothly, you need to consistently bring in new patients. This is why it is important to have an effective strategy that will both retain current patients and bring in new patients. There are many ways to do this, but the first step has an efficient marketing strategy. As mentioned in the previous section, it is important to be present on social media platforms to connect with your target audience while also increasing awareness of your ASC. For example, Facebook is a great way to attract older patients, as most of the people on Facebook tend to be older. Facebook is a good place to post tips, news, and important items that will help ensure both current and potential followers. Effective content doesn’t just consist of information regarding your clinic’s services but also about what patients can do themselves that may help satisfy their needs and gain their trust. Social media helps not only connect with potential customers but also gives a better sense of your ASCs services and mission. It is vital to have an attractive and user-efficient website that makes it easy for customers to navigate your website while also grabbing their attention. The best content to post both online and on social media is positive patient reviews or patient testimonials. In every area of business, the people consumers trust the most are other consumers, which is why engaging and posting positive reviews can be so beneficial. There are endless opportunities that can help better your ASC acquire more patients, which is why your ASC needs to implement a successful marketing or promotion strategy.
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Allow Staff to Provide Staff Recruitment Recommendations
While social media is very effective in recruiting potential employees, there is also another way of promoting job openings at your ambulatory surgery center which is to ask your current staff. Most physicians or other medical staff have connections with other medical professionals, many from previous job positions. This is great for recruiting potential employees as your staff will be providing positive reviews of your ambulatory surgery center and other employees to someone who trusts their opinion. Also, your staff knows when their connection needs a new position which makes it easy to hire quickly. While social media is better at increasing awareness of your ambulatory surgery center and job openings, word-of-mouth recommendations still are an effective tool for recruiting employees.
Provide an Efficient Guide for Improving Employee Performance
It is important for an ambulatory surgery center manager to help guide staff to improve their performance by providing more knowledge of tasks that need to be done. However, as a manager, it is important you aren’t doing the task for them. Instead, provide an in-depth explanation of the task and the expectations you have set. Ambulatory surgery center managers don’t have time to manage all the tasks that need to be completed, which is why it’s important to know that other employees are capable of completing the tasks that managers don’t have time for. Explaining the tasks, setting expectations, establishing a deadline, and ensuring they feel comfortable asking questions if they are confused will ensure nearly all of your staff can achieve their full potential. This also helps establish a better relationship between the manager and the staff as it shows that the manager wants their staff to succeed and believes that they are capable of more. The more staff that are taught how to complete various tasks, the more time the ambulatory surgery center manager has on their hands to complete the more important tasks. In sum, it is your job as a manager to guide your employees to do their job effectively and give them the experience they need to complete additional tasks that a manager should not be doing.
Set High Expectations
Managing an ambulatory surgery center is not simple and requires a lot of work to ensure your center is providing the care your center promised. Especially in the medical field, it is important to communicate the message that patients are always the ambulatory surgery center’s priority. To meet that promise, everything has to be running smoothly at your ambulatory surgery center, whether it’s supervising staff or evaluating what competitors are doing. This is why it is important to set high expectations for all your staff to meet and ensure they are laid out clearly and communicate the consequences of not meeting them. However, it is also important to make sure these expectations are reasonable, as if staff feel they have unreasonable expectations. They may choose to leave your ambulatory surgery center due to poor management. An ambulatory surgery center manager needs to hold all employees accountable for incomplete tasks to demonstrate the power you have as a manager. As mentioned in the previous section, guiding employees are key to ensuring all responsibilities are being fulfilled and helps improve communication between the manager and other staff. Setting high expectations also establishes a more successful mindset for employees because it will help build self-esteem by knowing their employer has confidence in them. In sum, there are a lot of benefits to setting high expectations not just for your employees but for ambulatory surgery center managers to meet, as it ensures that your ambulatory surgery center satisfies your customers’ needs.
Invest in Effective Ambulatory Surgery Center Technology
In this day in age, we are a technologically advanced society, especially in the medical field. Many ambulatory surgery center technologies help connect your center with your patients, manage your staff effectively, and help keep patients coming back to your ambulatory surgery center. Becker’s Hospital Review is a popular hospital magazine that provides up-to-date news for all hospitals and healthcare system professionals. They have provided a list of six technologies that all ambulatory surgery center managers should be aware of in order to run a successful ambulatory surgery center. Listed below is each platform mentioned in their article and an explanation of the services each platform provides.
GetWell Loop is a cloud-based platform that helps connect patients with their care team between visits. The platform makes it easy for physicians to stay in touch with their patients through mobile and web-based surveys, reminders, and bits of timely information specifically made for the patient’s treatment plan. The system sends patients notifications on recovery steps for signs of post-surgery complications. To learn more about the platform, click here.
Hybrent is a supply chain software that makes it easier to manage supplies all on one platform for purchasing, receiving, and invoicing. It allows your ASCs to set up templates and formularies based on physician preferences while tracking costs by physician or department. The platform also helps to suggest areas where costs can be reduced. Hybrent offers a multi-vendor online shopping portal to create and send Pos directly to vendors. It makes it easier to track all of your ambulatory surgery center’s contracts by setting notifications for expiration dates to view the status of your contract. The platform makes managing your inventory simple by giving instant access to inventory levels, cycle counts, par levels, stock transfers, and stock information. It tracks and reviews orders regularly, allowing for paperless delivery reconciliation and confirmation. Their website allows managers to take a quiz that determines if their ambulatory surgery center should use their platform. To learn more about the platform, click here.
Medical Passport is an online preadmissions solution system that helps facilities increase accuracy, decrease staff burden, and decrease patient cancellations & no-shows. It asks patients questions tailored to their personal information and responses to prior questions. It provides a custom assessment screening for patients with specific health risks and pre-operative testing criteria. It reduces staff burdens by making it easier for staff to gather information before and after their procedure by using questionnaires and surveys sent through email and text messages. The platform is used by ambulatory care centers, physician practices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. To learn more about Medical Passport and how it can help your ASC, click here.
Silversheet is intended to make the physician credentialing process easier to help managers maintain a healthy and compliant ambulatory surgery center. It stores physician credentials in the cloud and allows access to them from anywhere at any time. It prevents the issue of missing documents ensuring your ASC is prepared for any unexpected inspections by sending automatic reminders if any credential documents are missing or outdated. It also allows you to create individual profiles, including contact information and individual specialty summary. To learn more about the Silversheet platform and how it can benefit your ASC, click here.
VISION™ is a cloud-based clinical and business management solution focused on ambulatory surgery centers and specialty hospitals. It helps manage patient information and ASC operations and eliminates time-consuming processing, boosting revenue and allowing staff to focus on putting the patient first. It is a web-based technology that simplifies scheduling, patient registration, preference cards, case management, inventory management, electronic document management, patient tracking, credentialing, and many more. To learn more about the VISION™ platform and how it can benefit your ASC, click here.
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