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December 14, 2022

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Strengthening Operational Excellence in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

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The demand for outpatient surgery has increased drastically over the previous decades. Studies show that in 1995, 85% of surgeries were inpatient while 90% of outpatient surgery was performed in a hospital setting. In 2015, however, the data show 64% of surgeries were performed in outpatient settings. With the expansion of free-standing surgery centers in response, the need for outpatient anesthesia services concurrently shifted.

Evolving Needs in Outpatient Surgery

With the proliferation of outpatient surgery centers, the need for consistent and reliable anesthesia coverage is more important today than ever. With often extended scheduling to accommodate high utilization of facilities, centers need a reliable team of physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to ensure effective operations. This includes on-time starts, steady volume and multispecialty anesthesia care. Furthermore, the case acuity presenting in these outpatient facilities continues to rise, driving the expectation of clinicians who can provide complex coverage needs.

Finally, patient experience is a key factor in surgery centers’ success. The outpatient environment is patient-empowering, allowing patients and families to choose their site of care. While patient experience is always vital, centers should place a sharp focus on it throughout the entire patient flow. Anesthesia is often an untapped area to improve and ensure positive patient experiences, which ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Responding to Increased Demand

In Washington, D.C., my anesthesiology group provided hospital-based services. When physician-owned ambulatory surgery centers were allowed, the need for outpatient anesthesia services grew significantly in the region. With a solid partnership already in place, we expanded to cover some of these centers. At the same time, we began a partnership with TeamHealth to help support the outstanding care already in place.

“TeamHealth is operationally excellent in this space without giving up safety and clinical excellence.” – Dr. Andrei Cernea

A Full Suite of Outpatient Anesthesia Services

Our centers benefit from hands-on and collaborative management of the operating rooms and procedural areas. With our processes, we have a sharp focus on operational improvement, reliable coverage and surgeon satisfaction. TeamHealth’s main centers of excellence in this space are operational support, service support and coverage support.

  • Operational support: Our teams benefit from the administrative and operational resources TeamHealth offers, including leadership development, clinical data, administrative structure and process improvement.
  • Service support: TeamHealth has consistent care standards and clinical processes, including pre-op processes that eliminate same-day cancellations, ensure efficient turnover times and emphasize safety and high-quality outcomes.
  • Coverage support: With regional pools of clinicians and resources, we have consistent standards for staff acquisition, and we utilize high-value time for centers, which improves staff satisfaction and patient experience.

All these elements ensure that patients receive efficient and effective care with superior outcomes.

Operational Excellence in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

The ambulatory surgery center space is maturing and growing. Guided by our deep experience and expertise, we anticipated the increased demand and responded with resources, services, support and specialization to empower exceptional outpatient anesthesia care delivery. We cater these solutions to your local community and support it with our nationwide network of clinicians and operational experts.

Ready to learn more? Connect with our team to discover how our anesthesiology services can transform your ambulatory surgery center.