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scheduler and more. Through inte- gration with your local scheduling system and intelligent automation of your facility’s scheduling rules, the portal shares only the schedule and the openings that your ASC deems appropriate. This ensures that sched- uling requests are made only for vi- able openings. Providing your physician offices with these capabilities makes finding what they need, getting their cases scheduled and doing their job much easier. By making case scheduling easy and convenient, you improve the customer experience and become more likely to make your facility the first choice for schedulers and physi- cians alike.

Setting Up in the Cloud

Grow your ASC with an online scheduling portal. BY SCOTT RIEMENSCHNEIDER

Strong case volume is the lifeblood of a successful center. That has perhaps never been more appar- ent than in today’s health

care environment. As ASCs continue to face declining reimbursement and greater competition for cases, they cannot afford to miss out on any op- portunities to add appropriate cases to their schedule. An online physician scheduling

portal can help do just that, in addi- tion to providing many other efficien- cy benefits vital to an ASC’s success.

Increased Case Volume By adding an online physician sched- uling portal, you enhance your ASC’s

ability to advertise all of the sched- uling opportunities you have to of- fer your physicians. It also provides your physician practices with a con- venient and efficient alternative to chaotic phone- and fax-based sched- uling. Practices no longer need to be limited by an ASC’s office hours or ASC scheduler availability, nor do they need to rely on phone calls (that might not be answered) or faxes (that might be incomplete, illegible or even missed).

A scheduling portal can give phy- sician schedulers the ability to find openings in the schedule, submit case requests, review their physi- cian’s case schedule, make change requests, communicate with the ASC

Improved Staff Efficiency Moving the scheduling process on- line also allows case and schedule information to be communicated more effectively at the time of sched- uling. This means that staff at your ASC spends less time on the phone with physicians’ offices answering scheduling questions, trying to col- lect additional case information or confirming cases. Depending upon the level of inte-

gration between the scheduling por- tal and the ASC scheduling system, the need for manual data entry of pa- tient demographics, procedures, bill- ing codes and equipment needs can be reduced significantly. This also increases the capacity of the ASC schedulers, often freeing them up to take on additional responsibilities. Physician schedulers see their ef-

ficiency improve since the use of a scheduling portal makes it easier for them to better manage their work- flow once they are no longer lim- ited by ASC staff availability. This increased flexibility in scheduling leads to more efficient time man- agement.

The advice and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion. 18 ASC FOCUS MAY 2013

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