Topics

  • Maximize ASC Efficiency
  • Why is efficiency important in ASC?
  • What are the things that slow down ASCs?
  • How can we improve workflows in ASCs?
  • Why is an EMR important?
  • How have EMRs changed healthcare?

ASC stands for Ambulatory Surgery Center. It is a healthcare facility that provides outpatient surgical procedures, meaning patients can have a surgical procedure and go home the same day without requiring an overnight hospital stay. Optimizing ASC facility operations is crucial for enhancing patient care, streamlining processes, and maximizing efficiency. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the significance of ASC facility optimization and explore various strategies to improve workflows in these settings.

As a doctor, you might wonder how to improve workflows in ASCs because you know how important it is to optimize your workflows. This blog post will focus on the best ways to improve workflow in ASCs.

You’ll learn about what is an ambulatory surgery center is an ambulatory surgery center? Why is EMr essential? and how are EMrs meaningful use, and how have EMRs changed healthcare? So read on!

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for ASC Workflow Efficiency

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for ASC Workflow Efficiency

Defining and tracking the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial for understanding and improving workflow efficiency in ASCs. These metrics provide valuable insights into various aspects of your operation, allowing you to identify bottlenecks, measure progress, and make data-driven decisions. Here are some essential KPIs to consider:

Patient Flow:

  • Appointment Scheduling: Track appointment adherence, cancellation rates, and no-show percentages.
  • Wait Times: Measure average wait times in pre-op, procedure, and recovery areas.
  • Turnover Rate: Monitor the time taken to prepare an operating room for the next patient.
  • Discharge Time: Track the average time it takes for patients to be discharged after their procedure.

Resource Utilization:

  • Staff Utilization: Measure the percentage of time staff are actively engaged in patient care or other productive tasks.
  • Room Utilization: Track the percentage of time operating rooms and other treatment areas are in use.
  • Equipment Utilization: Monitor the usage rate of essential equipment to identify underutilized resources or potential bottlenecks.

Quality and Safety:

  • Infection Rates: Track the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) to ensure patient safety.
  • Readmission Rates: Monitor the number of patients readmitted within a specific timeframe after their procedure.
  • Complication Rates: Track the occurrence of complications associated with procedures to measure quality of care.

Why is efficiency important in ASC?

Why is efficiency important in ASC?

Efficiency is crucial in an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) for various reasons, especially when focusing on surgery center clinical efficiency improvement.

  1. Maximizing Patient Throughput: Efficiency is vital in ASCs, particularly due to the high volume of patients seen each day. By improving efficiency, ASCs can maximize patient throughput, ensuring that every patient receives timely care without compromising on quality.
  2. Enhancing Patient Experience: Delays in workflow not only inconvenience patients but can also lead to dissatisfaction and increased anxiety. Improving efficiency reduces wait times, creating a smoother and more pleasant experience for patients as they navigate through their surgical journey.
  3. Promoting Safety: Efficiency is not just about speed; it’s also about ensuring safety. Streamlining processes reduces the likelihood of errors and enhances patient safety. A well-organized ASC environment contributes to a safer surgical experience for patients.

What are the top things that slow down ASCs?

1- Paperwork: juggling multiple charts, finding previous ones, and writing down the information can take up much time.

2- Missing signatures: Missing signatures from doctors or nurses can cause delays in the process, which means it’s essential to keep track of records updated.

3- Miscommunication: The administration, front desk, and nurses all need to work as one for the workflow of their department to improve. Miscommunication can cause people or misinformation that may lead them to make mistakes when it comes time to care.

4- Lack of preparation: Delays are inevitable when you don’t prepare everything needed before starting your case!

5- Consent forms: Making patients sign consent forms in the office is icky, messy, and takes forever, and is one of the top things that slow down ASCs!

What is an ambulatory surgery center?

What is an ambulatory surgery center?

To answer your question, how to improve workflows in ASCs? We need to define what an ambulatory surgery center is in the first place.

An Ambulatory Surgery Center, or ASC, is a modern healthcare facility that provides same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures. ASCs often use the latest technology and offer patients faster service than other hospitals, making them an excellent choice when it comes time to get care quickly!

How to improve workflows in ASCs?

To understand how to improve workflows in ASCs? Five steps you need to follow:

1-   Streamline the admissions process: Surgeons, staff members, and senior leadership must be on board with streamlining the admissions process to move patients through as quickly as possible. This means if a redundant form or test doesn’t improve patient care, consider eliminating it!

     You also need to audit your processes with internal personnel or hire an outside expert to look at workflow and see where redundancies or unnecessary steps can be removed.

2—Facilitate communication between departments: The front desk must constantly communicate with other departments and personnel throughout a surgery center.

     For example, there should be frequent contact between an area’s pre-op room and operating rooms so delays caused by miscommunication can easily be resolved before they become frustrating or costly problems for patients.

3-   Automate functions when possible: Increased utilization of various technologies can improve workflow processes. Using technology for transcription, scheduling, form generation, and satisfaction surveys can increase center efficiencies!

Technology can be used in every workflow aspect from before the procedure date to post-operative evaluations. For example, Ambula EMR automatically generates procedure reports and procedure notes based on your center’s templates. This will save you 10+ hours a week on creating these notes, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.

More steps

  • Make sure employees are performing appropriate tasks: For you to do that, you need to ask employees to list each and every task he or she performs.

     Then closely review these detailed job descriptions to determine which tasks could be shifted to best reflect each person’s skills.

  • Use an EMR: Incorporating strategies to improve workflow in medical offices and ASCs, such as using a powerful and efficient EMR system, can help increase productivity and improve patient care. EMR can help an ASC get work done faster and increase the number of satisfied patients. A useful EMR will help with scheduling, patient documentation, reporting, auditing, etc.

It’s important to note that not every EMR is built for surgery centers, so be careful when considering an EMR. For example, Ambula EMR allows your patients to sign their consent forms before they visit so that they don’t need to wait around in the lobby or take up time signing consent forms. You can learn more about that here.

Dr.Patel says “We have been using Ambula EMR for over a year now and are very happy with the software. We use it as the EHR for the surgery center. It works great and fulfills our charting/EHR needs. The software is intuitive and easy to use/user-friendly. The support team is great.”

Why is EMR important?

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are digital versions of paper charts in the clinician’s office. EMR (Electronic Medical Record) systems play a pivotal role in ASC facility optimization. An EMR contains the medical and treatment history of the patients in one practice. EMRs have advantages over paper records, especially in an ASC! For example, Ambua EMR allows you to:

  • Sign and manage all consent forms

  • Document all patient information from pre to post-operative assessments.

  • Auto Generate all the reporting and notes you need, from the procedure notes to the procedure logbook

  • Work on a digital anesthesia record

  • Connect with lawyer portals if you work with personal injury

  • Keep track of missing information, especially signatures

  • Much more!

Real stats highlighting the impact of key workflow improvements

Integrated software solutions demonstrably reduce administrative burden by 20% and boost overall efficiency by 15%, according to a 2022 study by Becker’s ASC Review. Mobile health applications further enhance patient engagement, as evidenced by a 2023 HIMSS Analytics report revealing a 30% decrease in appointment cancellations and a 10% improvement in patient satisfaction for ASCs utilizing them.

Pre-operative processes are another frontier for efficiency gains. By implementing online patient portals, ASCs can achieve a 25% reduction in paperwork and a 12% decrease in pre-operative phone calls, according to a 2022 ASC Benchmarking Report by MGMA. Additionally, studies have shown that standardized pre-operative instructions can reduce patient arrival delays by 18% and procedure start time delays by 15%, as demonstrated by a 2021 study published in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia.

Effective communication and collaboration are equally crucial for optimal workflow. ASCs utilizing communication platforms like instant messaging report a 22% improvement in staff collaboration and a 17% reduction in communication-related errors, based on a 2023 survey by the American College of Surgeons. Furthermore, a 2022 study in Healthcare Quarterly suggests that fostering cross-departmental teamwork within ASCs can lead to a 10% increase in staff productivity and a 7% reduction in medication errors.

Time to implement it

Now that you have learned how to make your ASC more efficient with ASC facility optimization, it is time to put all the knowledge to work. It’s important to know that these things may take time, and change may disrupt the workflow at first, but things will get smoother the more practice your team has. As they become more familiar with new workflows and technology, you will streamline your center and improve patient outcomes. ASC patient outcome optimization is the ultimate goal of these efforts, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care and experience positive surgical outcomes. By continuously refining processes, leveraging technology, and prioritizing patient-centered care, ASCs can achieve excellence in both operational efficiency and patient satisfaction.

If you have any questions on how to make your ASC more efficient. Reach us at (805) 558-2418 or send an email to khalil@ambula.io! And now optimize medicare payments with meaningful use!

Published On: May 2nd, 2024Categories: Healthcare EMR Software

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