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No one understands the struggles and triumphs that ASC leadership experiences like those who have gone through it themselves. We understand Administrators, Business Office Managers, Chief Nursing Officers, Nurses, and everyone else who makes an ASC run successfully because at one point, we were standing right in your shoes.
Welcome to HST’s Administrator’s Corner 👋 Together, we’ll be addressing current issues that ASC leadership are facing to help solve your most pertinent and difficult problems. The advice below is proven and actionable, and we hope you find it helpful!
Dorothy L. Immel
HST Practice Management Consultant, HST Pathways
Former Regional Business Office Manager and CBO Director in Texas & Oklahoma
Center policy, corporate policy, and CMS regulations all require chart completion within 30 days of surgery. Rarely did we meet this goal, so we initiated a study to determine the cause(s). We followed records for various physicians and procedures from start to finish, documented bottlenecks, and proposed solutions. Not only did this help improve processes, but when CMS showed up for an audit and identified the center as non-compliant, our study proved that we were aware of this deficiency and working on a solution, so they did not include it in their final rating.
Sales & Relationship Manager, Patient Access, HST Pathways
Former ASC admin for 7+ years in New York
My facility benefited from a QAPI study looking at post-operative recovery times for endoscopies where the time from intra-op to discharge shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes. If the recovery time was 40 minutes or higher, the PACU nurse was required to explain. As a result, we highlighted the importance of timely post-operative check-in by the doctor, which was commonly not happening. The intervention brought about a reduction in average recovery time to below the 30-minute target.
VP of Business Development, HST Pathways
Former ASC Admin for 22 years in Alabama
My center held a “One Stop Shop” QAPI Study. This study aimed to determine if we could streamline the pre-op process once a patient was posted for surgery to reduce our cancelation rate and increase our patient satisfaction scores. Some of the other goals of this study were to make the pre-op process easier (less time and travel) for patients, more cost-effective (less out-of-pocket expense) for patients, and more efficient for our ASC. We reviewed patients that were interviewed the day they were posted vs. patients we were unable to reach until a much later date or unable to reach at all.
Our building design assisted with the convenience of having the patient stop in for an interview and, if necessary, get lab work done, an EKG, or an anesthesia review. We were fortunate enough to have an onsite 3rd party lab, and 85% of the surgeons were in the same facility as our ASC. Part of our emphasis was making it easy for patient clinical data to be retrieved by our anesthesiologist and preventing or reducing cancellations by having the patient stop in the ASC once scheduled for surgery. We partnered with the physician offices that were in our building to get them to assist us with encouraging the patient to stop by our ASC front desk to get the pre-op process started the day they were posted. Once we developed this streamlined process, we saw our cancellation rate decline and our patient satisfaction scores increase.
I will qualify this with; it would have been great if we had a patient texting/communication system when we did this study seven years ago, but we did not have it available then. Today, I would implement a patient texting system that communicates the pre-op process via text and then use that same system to gather relevant clinical data electronically.
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