Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

The Secret of Gritflowness - October 2020 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/1295137

Contents of this Issue


Page 69 of 75

7 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • O C T O B E R 2 0 2 0 I t's no secret that the ongoing coronavirus pandem- ic has challenged American health systems in ways that they are not used to being challenged: many have had to adjust rapidly in order to best meet the needs of their patient population while doing what they can to stay afloat financially. Among the most attractive solutions to this problem is the migration of procedures to ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). This makes sense from a patient per- spective – after all, free standing ASCs provide the ability for patients to access surgical services while avoiding potential exposure to hospitalized COVID-19 patients. But how can surgeons benefit from this solution, and what do they need to know if they are considering it? There are a number of considerations to keep in mind as this approach gains prevalence. Making surgeons' lives easier ASCs can provide profound quality-of-life benefits for surgeons, especially those who have only ever worked within the restrictions of a larger hospital setting. One such benefit is increased responsiveness. Larger hospitals have to meet a variety of different needs for a variety of different employees and stakeholders, but because ASCs have a much smaller footprint, they can be laser-focused on making sure that surgeons are able to do their work efficiently. ASCs can be quick to change workflows and patient pathways to make out- patient surgery more efficient, and since COVID-19 began, our local ASC has been able to effectively secure PPE supplies as we've needed them. Moreover, ASCs can respond quickly to changing sur- gical demand. Case in point, our local physician- owned ASC responded quickly with expanded operat- ing hours including early morning, evening and even weekend hours as needed to address the backlog of elective surgical caseloads once our state restrictions on elective surgery were lifted. ASCs can be conducive to more intimate patient-doc- tor interactions. Particularly in larger hospitals, it can be difficult to balance the constant demands of mov- ing between operating rooms and often distantly placed family waiting and consultation areas. By virtue of being a much smaller, more focused environment, ASCs make it significantly easier to spend more time with patients and their families both pre- and postop- eratively, vastly improving the patient and physician experience. Lastly, given the focused and responsive nature of ASCs, many of them are equipped with advanced technology that's as good as hospitals. For example, we currently are partnering with Stryker's ASC busi- ness to help expand and update our ASC to meet the growing orthopaedic case volume. After meeting with them to communicate our needs, they developed plans to assure everything was covered, from totally outfitted operating rooms (including Mako SmartRobotics TM ) to central sterile processing. No details were left uncovered. They proved to be a great partner providing one-stop service. Preparing to make the leap Of course, there are some challenges with migrating new and more complex surgical procedures to an ASC. You'll have to make a long checklist of things that need to be done – including making sure you have adequate in-servicing both internally and with vendors, making sure your staff is able to adjust to new workflows and determining the best way to com- municate the benefits of ASCs to patients. For the last example in particular, it's often effective to talk about how outpatient surgery can reduce the cost of the surgery while allowing them to sleep in the comfort of their own homes once the surgery is done. It's also important to touch on the potential of less exposure risk to healthcare-associated infections when compared with inpatient surgical settings. These conversations are sometimes uncomfortable, but they're necessary to establish the value of the ASC for the long term; today, many of our patients request and prefer to have their surgery at the ASC. In tackling the other hurdles associated with migrating procedures, it can be helpful to use a third party that's familiar with the business model, such as Stryker's ASC business. As we migrated more complex cases, Migrating to ASCs: What Surgeons Need to Know S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers - The Secret of Gritflowness - October 2020 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine