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question or discussion, I would say 85 percent of the conversation is based on educating them so they can understand what I’m presenting and how it affects them. This allows them to make a fact- based decision or recommendation.”

Make Yourself Visible Physicians don’t want to see you only when you go to see them, Katz says. They want to know you’re always near- by. “Be visible. There are administrators and others who sit in their office and expect the doctors to come find them rather than wearing scrubs and having the ability to walk in the OR or being in the physician’s lounge and available to talk to them.” Scheller says administrators should do all that they can to make sure that they are always available to their phy- sicians. “Be certain that you’re at the ASC in the morning before your physi- cians arrive and be there in the evening after they leave. And I always answer my telephone. When the thing rings, I pick it up. That includes my cell phone, and calls on weekends and evenings.” Physicians need to know that when

they share their opinions or recommen- dations, administrators will respond ap- propriately, Berreth says. “They need to know they are the most important person to me when they’re in front of me and what they say always matters. They need to know they can talk to me about anything and I will take what’s valuable from that discussion and that what needs to get done as a result will be taken care of.” Ken Austin, MD, president of Rama-

po Valley Surgical Center in Ramsey, New Jersey, and private practice ortho- pedic surgeon at Rockland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Rockland, New York, agrees with Berreth. “As the president, I am part of the administration who has to keep doctors happy, and on the other side, I’m one of those doctors I have to keep hap- py,” Austin says. “Be attentive to their

needs in regards to what hospitals have little to no ability to do—for example, when equipment or modifications are needed, you have to be able to examine their needs rapidly and make a deci- sion without going through 12 com- mittees. To be able to expedite needs and keeping the lines of communica- tion open are both paramount with re- gards to what’s required.”

Cater to Needs Inside and Outside the ASC Physicians

will appreciate anything

you do to make their work in the ASC a little easier, Katz says. “Teams breed efficiency, so try, the vast majority of the time, to put the same people in the room that your physicians want to work with and have worked with and who know their routine and the procedures they perform. When a physician works with the same scrub tech and circulat- ing nurse as much as possible,


definitely helps with the physician’s ef- ficiency. But you should make sure to rotate some different people in on occa- sion to account for those instances when one of the physician’s ‘regulars’ is out on vacation or becomes sick. You don’t want physicians coming out of the OR complaining that a new person caused problems or slowed them down.” “Keeping a professional but friend- ly work environment is important,”

adds Austin. “Doctors want to come to a place where they are comfortable. The locker room needs to be clean, the scrubs needs to be there, their case has to start on time, their nurse has to know what’s going on. These are all very im- portant. You don’t want to have a doc- tor walk in to a nurse who they’ve never met before with equipment they’ve nev- er seen when they’re expecting people to know what’s happening in a profes- sional manner.”

Administrators should look for any

way to help their physicians, and this extends beyond the walls of the ASC, Katz says. “Take time and go to the physician offices and talk to the office managers and surgery schedulers to learn how you can make things better operationally for them. The surgery scheduler often runs the physician’s professional life. If they’re happy and you can make scheduling for them easier, then I guarantee the doctor will be happy in terms of how the sched- ule runs. If you make it difficult for surgery schedulers to schedule cases, they will find another place to send the physician.”

When it comes to scheduling, don’t

forget the competition factor, Metz points out. “Administrators and oth- ers shouldn’t lose sight that maybe sometimes you’re missing issues that are more important to the physicians.


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