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Ask an ASC Professional: Looking Back on 2017, Forward into 2018

2017 to 2018An interview with six ASC professionals

2017 was a big year for ASCs. We spoke with six clinical and administrative ASC professionals about some of their biggest accomplishments and how technology helped them achieve their goals. We also discussed their plans for 2018 and how they plan to leverage technology to keep providing efficient, affordable, patient-centric care.

Q: What were your ASC's biggest accomplishments in 2017?

 
  • Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center's biggest accomplishment in 2017 was building and implementing an electronic medical record (EMR), SIS Charts. We quickly transitioned to electronic documentation and all clinical staff — including the doctors and certified registered nurse anesthetists — have rapidly adopted the system. Even our more veteran staff who have traditionally charted on paper were up to speed with SIS Charts in no time. We went live with SIS Charts during a very busy week and were able to reduce overtime hours during our busiest year to date.
- Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • In 2017, we were chosen as an early adopter of SIS’s new web-based clinical documentation system, SIS Charts. It was an amazing experience to help SIS create an EMR that truly fits the needs of ambulatory surgery centers. It was an amazing experience for our entire staff and management.

    2017 was also our busiest surgical year in terms of case volume since we opened in 2011, so it was a great year for us.

 - Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center

  • Despite experiencing less-than-budgeted volumes in 2017, Rush SurgiCenter was able to beat the budgeted income. We accomplished this by analyzing our performance, identifying areas of improvement, and streamlining operations. We also saw an improvement in both employee and surgeon satisfaction.

 - Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • Staff recruitment was a significant focus in 2017 as the center experienced turnover of valued tenured employees. Accomplishments included hiring replacement staff as well as identifying and securing an infection control consultant to provide expertise in this area.

    Growth in joint replacement volume was an accomplishment in 2017, particularly in partial knee replacements, a trend that is planned to continue in 2018.

 - Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • In 2017, we successfully implemented our new web-based clinical documentation system SIS Charts, integrated it with our online patient portal to create a seamless patient registration process, and shared our experience with several ASCs across the country. We were also the first ASC to perform the Inspire obstructive sleep apnea treatment in the Northwest. I was also very proud that our staff came forward ideas that ultimately saved the center $100,000.

Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • In 2017, SurgCenter of Western Maryland increased revenue by adding an additional specialty and increasing case volume.

Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland 

How did your use of technology help you achieve goals for the year?

 
  • Technology has helped us achieve our goals by helping streamline the perioperative process. For example, some of the duties/processes previously done with the RN can now be completed at registration with the help of our clinical documentation system. Patient information can be captured and reviewed, and necessary paperwork can be signed with a touchpad, streamlining patient registration and processing. This has also helped improve patient satisfaction. SIS Charts also helped reduce paper and labor costs associated with manual charting.

      - Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • SIS Charts’ web-based delivery saved our center a lot of money on IT. Our current server is from 2011 and would have needed to be replaced had the system not been web-based. We were also able to start our implementation much more quickly because there was no need to set up any new infrastructure.

    We also partnered with a new IT service provider to ensure that our system is always available. The company monitors our performance daily, and if there is an outage, it is usually up by the time we open our doors.

- Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center 

  • By implementing an online patient portal, we have decreased the amount of time and improved the accuracy of pre-op calls. Patient satisfaction has improved as well. We have also been able to provide greater efficiency and convenience to our surgeons using our new interface between our clinical documentation system and transcription service.

 Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • The facility website as well as the adjoining orthopedic practice's Facebook page has been very useful for staff recruitment.

    Use of Google Analytics data has been helpful in learning where to strengthen information on the website to better promote the center. In addition, patient testimonial videos were created to display on the website as an effective tool in helping to market the surgical center.

 - Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • By implementing web-based electronic clinical documentation, we eliminated costs associated with off-site record storage and reduced printing costs. That helped us achieve budgetary goals. I believe our EMR saved us time in several areas, particularly when used to track data. It’s so efficient to be able to find information without pulling paper charts and then filing them back again. It allows us to spend more time caring for our patients.

- Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • Technology allowed us to streamline our processes and workflow. We were able to create efficiency by improving communication and reducing the paperwork across all departments.

- Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

What are looking to be some of the areas of focus for your ASC in 2018?

 
  • In 2018, we plan on implementing additional functionality in SIS Charts, including OP notes, physician orders, automatic transfer of vital signs, and medical device integration to digitize all clinical information. We also plan to refine parts of the system already in use to make the program even better than it was when we started in February 2017.

 - Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • My goals for the center are to beat last year’s surgical volume, bring in a few new physicians, keep working with SIS to integrate our patient monitors with the clinical documentation system, and become completely paperless with our charts.

 - Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center

  • In 2018, we want to improve case costing measures and awareness among surgeons. We feel that transparency into our procedure costs will incentivize our surgeons to be more mindful of costs when choosing equipment and materials for their procedures. We also plan to implement economies of scale between the current ASC and a new ASC we are opening in 2019.

- Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • Recruitment of new surgeons for the center, both within the existing specialties and for additional specialties, to address surgeon retirements is planned for the first quarter of 2018.

    The center will need to focus on self-pay patients and continue to look for strategies to communicate planned out-of-pocket costs to develop strategies to collect in a timelier fashion.

Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • Compliance with new and existing regulations will be a major area of focus in 2018. We are also excited to integrate physician and anesthesia documentation into SIS Charts and continue to share our success with centers across the country. We look forward to adding new specialties that will attract additional physicians to the center as well as performing new procedures including cochlear and Baja implants — procedures not typically performed in the outpatient setting.

Shelley Longgood, Administrator, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery

  • Our focus in 2018 is on growth. We are looking to add physicians and specialties and perform more total joint procedures. Reducing expenses is always a focus for our center and will continue to be one of our main objectives.

 - Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

How will technology help you achieve your goals in the new year?

 
  • We would like to better leverage SIS Analytics, our business intelligence solution from SIS. We are currently doing a lot of manual, time-consuming reporting. The analytics platform can automate a lot of this work, so I am learning how to use it more effectively.
- Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • Using the case costing tools soon to be available in the SIS Analytics business intelligence solution, we will be able to drill down into case and inventory metrics with just a few clicks to discover the root cause of financial performance. Technology will also enable us to share information across vendors to ensure the appropriate data feeds to systems including payroll, accounting, and purchasing.

 - Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • Technology will be explored to assist with emergency preparedness efforts, including technology to notify all employees simultaneously in the event of a dangerous situation.

    Technology will also be explored to assist in the provision of accurate out-of-pocket quotes and with revenue collection efforts.

- Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • I believe that the reporting in SIS Charts will save significant time and effort when tracking ASC-13: Normothermia Outcome data, making it an extremely simple process. Better technology, if used properly, always cuts costs and makes for more efficient workflows.

Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • We will continue to leverage technology to improve our effectiveness by combining it with the resources and processes already in place at our center.

- Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

What is a New Year's resolution you have for your ASC and/or for your job specifically?

 
  • My resolution/goal for 2018 is to eliminate all paper used for charting purposes. Once we have transitioned to 100% paper free, we plan on planting a tree in front of the building.
 Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • For the center, I want to make sure that we continue to have a high level of staff engagement. When it comes to using SIS solutions, we want to make sure the team provides input. This will help us use the solutions better and make the solutions better for all ASCs.

    Personally, it's about putting effort into the SIS Analytics platform. I'll still have the same job, but the solution will save me time, which will allow me to use that time to focus on other areas.

 - Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center

  • To convert manual processes to electronic mechanisms, thus allowing the team to spend more time focusing on improvements for our patients. Personally, I will continue to mentor my team so they can continue to be successful.

- Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • The center will transition to a new registration software in 2018. The goal is to transition with efficiency, assuring inefficiencies and inaccurate information in the existing software are not replicated, thus providing a fresh start in terms of effectiveness.

    2018 will provide a transition in surgeons as three existing providers retire between January 1 and April 1. Focus will be on assuring an effective transition for any new providers.

    With the growth of joint replacements, the center will need to evaluate recovery care options and challenge the current situation of patients remaining 23 hours and 59 minutes.

- Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • We will continue our forward progress and our “can-do attitude.” We will also follow our mantra of “Never say no, always try to find a way to accomplish the goal!” Here at the Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery, we’ve proven that with the right attitude, open mind, and crucial staff input, we can accomplish anything we set out to do.

    For my position, the resolution is two-fold. It’s imperative that I look for ways to heighten the quality of our patients' experience while looking for ways to best enhance our financial stability.

- Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • Our top priorities are to continue to focus on growth and create the efficiencies for the surgeons while maintaining the quality of care, patient safety, and satisfaction.

- Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

If you're interested in learning more about how our solutions can help your ASC, contact us today.

Topics: ASCs

Ask an ASC Professional: Looking Back on 2017, Forward into 2018

2017 to 2018An interview with six ASC professionals

2017 was a big year for ASCs. We spoke with six clinical and administrative ASC professionals about some of their biggest accomplishments and how technology helped them achieve their goals. We also discussed their plans for 2018 and how they plan to leverage technology to keep providing efficient, affordable, patient-centric care.

Q: What were your ASC's biggest accomplishments in 2017?

 
  • Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center's biggest accomplishment in 2017 was building and implementing an electronic medical record (EMR), SIS Charts. We quickly transitioned to electronic documentation and all clinical staff — including the doctors and certified registered nurse anesthetists — have rapidly adopted the system. Even our more veteran staff who have traditionally charted on paper were up to speed with SIS Charts in no time. We went live with SIS Charts during a very busy week and were able to reduce overtime hours during our busiest year to date.
- Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • In 2017, we were chosen as an early adopter of SIS’s new web-based clinical documentation system, SIS Charts. It was an amazing experience to help SIS create an EMR that truly fits the needs of ambulatory surgery centers. It was an amazing experience for our entire staff and management.

    2017 was also our busiest surgical year in terms of case volume since we opened in 2011, so it was a great year for us.

 - Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center

  • Despite experiencing less-than-budgeted volumes in 2017, Rush SurgiCenter was able to beat the budgeted income. We accomplished this by analyzing our performance, identifying areas of improvement, and streamlining operations. We also saw an improvement in both employee and surgeon satisfaction.

 - Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • Staff recruitment was a significant focus in 2017 as the center experienced turnover of valued tenured employees. Accomplishments included hiring replacement staff as well as identifying and securing an infection control consultant to provide expertise in this area.

    Growth in joint replacement volume was an accomplishment in 2017, particularly in partial knee replacements, a trend that is planned to continue in 2018.

 - Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • In 2017, we successfully implemented our new web-based clinical documentation system SIS Charts, integrated it with our online patient portal to create a seamless patient registration process, and shared our experience with several ASCs across the country. We were also the first ASC to perform the Inspire obstructive sleep apnea treatment in the Northwest. I was also very proud that our staff came forward ideas that ultimately saved the center $100,000.

Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • In 2017, SurgCenter of Western Maryland increased revenue by adding an additional specialty and increasing case volume.

Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland 

How did your use of technology help you achieve goals for the year?

 
  • Technology has helped us achieve our goals by helping streamline the perioperative process. For example, some of the duties/processes previously done with the RN can now be completed at registration with the help of our clinical documentation system. Patient information can be captured and reviewed, and necessary paperwork can be signed with a touchpad, streamlining patient registration and processing. This has also helped improve patient satisfaction. SIS Charts also helped reduce paper and labor costs associated with manual charting.

      - Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • SIS Charts’ web-based delivery saved our center a lot of money on IT. Our current server is from 2011 and would have needed to be replaced had the system not been web-based. We were also able to start our implementation much more quickly because there was no need to set up any new infrastructure.

    We also partnered with a new IT service provider to ensure that our system is always available. The company monitors our performance daily, and if there is an outage, it is usually up by the time we open our doors.

- Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center 

  • By implementing an online patient portal, we have decreased the amount of time and improved the accuracy of pre-op calls. Patient satisfaction has improved as well. We have also been able to provide greater efficiency and convenience to our surgeons using our new interface between our clinical documentation system and transcription service.

 Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • The facility website as well as the adjoining orthopedic practice's Facebook page has been very useful for staff recruitment.

    Use of Google Analytics data has been helpful in learning where to strengthen information on the website to better promote the center. In addition, patient testimonial videos were created to display on the website as an effective tool in helping to market the surgical center.

 - Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • By implementing web-based electronic clinical documentation, we eliminated costs associated with off-site record storage and reduced printing costs. That helped us achieve budgetary goals. I believe our EMR saved us time in several areas, particularly when used to track data. It’s so efficient to be able to find information without pulling paper charts and then filing them back again. It allows us to spend more time caring for our patients.

- Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • Technology allowed us to streamline our processes and workflow. We were able to create efficiency by improving communication and reducing the paperwork across all departments.

- Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

What are looking to be some of the areas of focus for your ASC in 2018?

 
  • In 2018, we plan on implementing additional functionality in SIS Charts, including OP notes, physician orders, automatic transfer of vital signs, and medical device integration to digitize all clinical information. We also plan to refine parts of the system already in use to make the program even better than it was when we started in February 2017.

 - Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • My goals for the center are to beat last year’s surgical volume, bring in a few new physicians, keep working with SIS to integrate our patient monitors with the clinical documentation system, and become completely paperless with our charts.

 - Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center

  • In 2018, we want to improve case costing measures and awareness among surgeons. We feel that transparency into our procedure costs will incentivize our surgeons to be more mindful of costs when choosing equipment and materials for their procedures. We also plan to implement economies of scale between the current ASC and a new ASC we are opening in 2019.

- Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • Recruitment of new surgeons for the center, both within the existing specialties and for additional specialties, to address surgeon retirements is planned for the first quarter of 2018.

    The center will need to focus on self-pay patients and continue to look for strategies to communicate planned out-of-pocket costs to develop strategies to collect in a timelier fashion.

Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • Compliance with new and existing regulations will be a major area of focus in 2018. We are also excited to integrate physician and anesthesia documentation into SIS Charts and continue to share our success with centers across the country. We look forward to adding new specialties that will attract additional physicians to the center as well as performing new procedures including cochlear and Baja implants — procedures not typically performed in the outpatient setting.

Shelley Longgood, Administrator, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery

  • Our focus in 2018 is on growth. We are looking to add physicians and specialties and perform more total joint procedures. Reducing expenses is always a focus for our center and will continue to be one of our main objectives.

 - Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

How will technology help you achieve your goals in the new year?

 
  • We would like to better leverage SIS Analytics, our business intelligence solution from SIS. We are currently doing a lot of manual, time-consuming reporting. The analytics platform can automate a lot of this work, so I am learning how to use it more effectively.
- Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • Using the case costing tools soon to be available in the SIS Analytics business intelligence solution, we will be able to drill down into case and inventory metrics with just a few clicks to discover the root cause of financial performance. Technology will also enable us to share information across vendors to ensure the appropriate data feeds to systems including payroll, accounting, and purchasing.

 - Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • Technology will be explored to assist with emergency preparedness efforts, including technology to notify all employees simultaneously in the event of a dangerous situation.

    Technology will also be explored to assist in the provision of accurate out-of-pocket quotes and with revenue collection efforts.

- Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • I believe that the reporting in SIS Charts will save significant time and effort when tracking ASC-13: Normothermia Outcome data, making it an extremely simple process. Better technology, if used properly, always cuts costs and makes for more efficient workflows.

Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • We will continue to leverage technology to improve our effectiveness by combining it with the resources and processes already in place at our center.

- Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

What is a New Year's resolution you have for your ASC and/or for your job specifically?

 
  • My resolution/goal for 2018 is to eliminate all paper used for charting purposes. Once we have transitioned to 100% paper free, we plan on planting a tree in front of the building.
 Laura Picano-Wilson, RN, Clinical Director, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center
 
  • For the center, I want to make sure that we continue to have a high level of staff engagement. When it comes to using SIS solutions, we want to make sure the team provides input. This will help us use the solutions better and make the solutions better for all ASCs.

    Personally, it's about putting effort into the SIS Analytics platform. I'll still have the same job, but the solution will save me time, which will allow me to use that time to focus on other areas.

 - Jennifer Bednarchick, Chief Operating Officer, Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center

  • To convert manual processes to electronic mechanisms, thus allowing the team to spend more time focusing on improvements for our patients. Personally, I will continue to mentor my team so they can continue to be successful.

- Wendy Stark-Riemer, Director, Rush SurgiCenter

  • The center will transition to a new registration software in 2018. The goal is to transition with efficiency, assuring inefficiencies and inaccurate information in the existing software are not replicated, thus providing a fresh start in terms of effectiveness.

    2018 will provide a transition in surgeons as three existing providers retire between January 1 and April 1. Focus will be on assuring an effective transition for any new providers.

    With the growth of joint replacements, the center will need to evaluate recovery care options and challenge the current situation of patients remaining 23 hours and 59 minutes.

- Becky Ziegler-Otis, Administrator, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point

  • We will continue our forward progress and our “can-do attitude.” We will also follow our mantra of “Never say no, always try to find a way to accomplish the goal!” Here at the Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery, we’ve proven that with the right attitude, open mind, and crucial staff input, we can accomplish anything we set out to do.

    For my position, the resolution is two-fold. It’s imperative that I look for ways to heighten the quality of our patients' experience while looking for ways to best enhance our financial stability.

- Shelley Longgood, Executive Director, Edmonds Center for Outpatient Surgery and the Proliance Center for Outpatient Spine and Joint Surgery

  • Our top priorities are to continue to focus on growth and create the efficiencies for the surgeons while maintaining the quality of care, patient safety, and satisfaction.

- Raghu Reddy, Business Administrator, SurgCenter of Western Maryland

If you're interested in learning more about how our solutions can help your ASC, contact us today.

Topics: ASCs

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