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ASC, says Savoie, is a hard-working, competent

and proactive materials

manager/purchasing agent. “If a center wants to be efficient, accommodating and successful, a full-time purchasing agent should be hired as one of the first employees,” she says. “Every aspect of the center revolves around this person. They are tied to every item that comes into the building. A good purchasing agent will know or learn physicians’ preferences and usage volume. A great purchasing agent will do this, as well as keep doc- tors and administration aware of costs, keeping in mind that competition cre- ates better pricing and vendors can be negotiated with.”

The materials manager position is one that is often taken for granted by staff, Savoie adds.

“The purchasing agent is expected

to deliver on all requests made dai- ly—and to do so immediately,” she says. “It’s like being the mother at an orphanage and parenting 60-plus children. I feel that the purchasing agent’s job description can never truly describe the actual importance and necessity of their position. Purchas- ing agents should have good personal relations skills, be extremely autono- mous, assertive and confident. From having enough papers to print forms, to the highest dollar implants and medications needed to perform proce- dures, the purchasing agent keeps the center stocked and ready at all times. “Sherrie Landry is our angel of a purchasing agent,” Savoie continues. “She has evolved into one of the most knowledgeable, capable and depend- able individuals on our team. She takes great pride in her work and consistently researches better products and more efficient processes, monitors contract pricing and looks for lower pricing. I feel our center offers excellent services to our community with exceptional as- sistance from Sherrie.”

Materials managers and central sterile technicians have much in common, says

Housekeepers Housekeepers do much more than just clean a facility, Savoie says, and she believes it’s time for them to be recog- nized for the important work they per- form that few others want to take on. “Everyone from staff to patients ex- pects to be in a clean environment, but no one feels it is their duty to perform this task, and many do not appreciate the work it takes to meet this expecta- tion,” Savoie says. “The medical field has stringent regulations on supplies, techniques and quantity of cleaning in certain areas. There are many small tasks that are specific to medical sites that the housekeeper at an ASC must monitor and be aware of. From experi- ence, I can tell you that the majority of patients note the cleanliness of a facility upon arrival; this can make or break the view of your center.

“Most do not realize that a full-time

housekeeper will be in contact with more people than the clinical staff— they also encounter patients and family members,” Savoie continues. “House- keeping encompasses every area of a facility, which also makes them one of your best resources for data collec-

Hargrave-Thomas. “They never see the patient. They just know when a case comes over that we need to have XYZ equipment and supplies.

“Karl Bendy is our materials man-

ager,” Hargrave-Thomas continues. “Without Karl, we wouldn’t have all of the supplies and correct items we need to do the surgery. Without materi- als managers, we couldn’t do our job. He and Candace Coleman truly work together to ensure we have everything a physician could potentially ask for and have it ready to go so there’s no im- pact on the patient, surgeon or the staff. These are two individuals who we never have to worry about; we never have to worry about supplies and instruments not being where they need to be at the time they need to be there. They just take care of it.”

tion in the center. These individuals will know all aspects of the workings, flow, relationships and opinions of the staff, surgeons and patients. It’s important to recognize and utilize all information to your benefit.” Savoie says her ASC’s full-time

housekeeper, Judy Henry, is one of the many great assets of the facility. “She maintains the facility from

the lobby through the surgical suites,” Savoie notes. “She also assists with patient transportation. A good house- keeper will have a friendly, accom- modating attitude and work ethic and must be autonomous and detail ori- ented. Judy is all of this and more. She has many years of experience in the clinical areas and knows Occupation- al Safety and Health Administration, Joint Commission and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care standards regarding cleaning in medical areas. We are very lucky to have such a well-rounded person in this position.”

Administrators Acker says that while many ASCs’ un- sung heroes often work in the bowels of the facility, administrators throughout the country are worthy of this recogni- tion as well. “They work like dogs,” she says,

“but nobody really knows what they do and how much they do.”

Show your Appreciation Hargrave-Thomas encourages all ASC staff to look around their ASC and iden- tify the unsung heroes on their team. “Use this as an opportunity to say

thank you, and tell these individuals how much you appreciate their work and contributions,” she says. Savoie agrees, noting that sometimes

it’s easy to miss these individuals who are so critical to an ASC’s operations. “Remember that all parts of an en- gine are important, but some are nec- essary, and they’re not usually the big- gest,” she says.


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