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3 Tips to Help Maximize Efficiency in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Business Resources

3 Tips to Help Maximize Efficiency in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Efficiency is crucial when it comes to operating a successful ambulatory surgery center (ASC). Delays in workflow can harm the bottom line and increase staff frustration, even impacting your ability to compete effectively.

At Becker’s Annual Spine & Ortho Conference, a panel of experts discussed the future of the independent ASC. The panel agreed that improving the efficiency of surgical care is a key opportunity for independent operators to compete with larger systems. According to Dr. Andrew Schoenfeld, a member of the panel, the “single most important thing to staying competitive in the market is efficiency.”

Salaries, wages and general/administrative expenses account for almost 40% of ASC operating expenses.1

Much of this expense, of course, compensates the talented team of people that helps deliver outstanding patient care every day. Some of these expenses, however, come in the form of wasted time – time spent on administrative tasks and time that could spent on much more valuable things. In fact, over four hours of administrative tasks are needed per procedure, and 11 staff hours overall.1

Thankfully, there are ways to decrease the administrative burden. Here are 3 tips to help maximize efficiency in your ASC:

1 | Reduce manual, redundant and paper-based tasks

It can sound easier said than done, but there are tried and true solutions to reducing the tasks that keep you from doing more important things.

For example, if you’re ordering your narcotics using the DEA’s paper 222 form, you may want to consider a front-end user interface that automates the task and eliminates the need for paper. These interfaces may be available from your pharmaceutical distributor for a nominal fee or no fee at all, and can be accessed from the same system you use to place orders.

Are you manually matching invoices, purchase orders and packing slips? Some online ordering systems allow you to accept and approve invoices online – automating a three-way match with packing slips, purchase orders and invoices electronically and eliminating the need to mail, fax, and scan hard copies of invoices. Check with your supply distributor.

Doing cataract surgeries? If you’re using three-ring binders to track your lens manufacturer’s barcodes, reconciling the number of lenses used when it’s time to pay your invoice can be tedious and time-consuming. Explore systems that reduce a lot of the manual, paper-based tasks involved in ordering and tracking lenses.

The "single most important thing to staying competitive in the market is efficiency."

2 | Harness the power of kits and trays

You’re probably using custom procedure trays (CPT), for your most common cases, but are you taking full advantage of the added efficiency kits and trays can bring? According to Dr. James A. Sanfilippo, optimizing procedure trays is a great way to manage costs and efficiencies – especially if you’re doing bundles.

Many ASCs find that using room turnover kits can help drive consistent and efficient turnover times. By kitting standard items such as sheets and headrest covers with kick buckets and even mops, staff doesn’t need to track down several items after every case.

Ask your supply distributor for a review of your CPTs, kits and trays to assess whether your program is fully optimized.

3 | Use data and analytics

It’s difficult to improve efficiency if you’re not measuring key data that have the biggest impact on your bottom line. In fact, when asked to share insights on running a profitable independent ASC, Alfonso del Granado, compliance officer at Oak Brook Medical Management in Oak Brook, IL emphasized the need to invest in data and analytics to improve efficiencies and grow your margins, adding: “In business as in life, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

Accessing key data doesn’t have to cost a lot; in fact, you might already have important metrics at your fingertips and not even know it. This performance dashboard, for example, provides visibility into possible redundancy and waste, and is offered at no charge.

Complete the form to the right to request a business review using our real-time business analytics tools.

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1: VMG Health Intellimarker Multi-Specialty ASC Study 2017

© 2019 McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc.

Request a business review to learn how we can help you address these 3 key areas.