Apply the Pareto Principle at Your ASC N

etworking with participants at ASCA’s annual meetings each year always reminds me of the incredible people who work in this industry. Their passion and dedication for

those we serve is inspiring. Once we “sharpen our saw” with this great educational oppor- tunity each year, we return to our centers and look for areas of improvement. We need to continuously search for these opportunities in our quest to provide outstanding care and service to all our customers—our patients, physicians and team members—because this is what sets us apart. Reviewing monthly key performance indicators (KPI) is a critical component in the process of continuous improvement. This reviewing process looks a little different for each facility but should definitely be a part of your monthly analysis. Hearing from different speakers at ASCA 2018 and now reading this month’s ASC Focus articles might give you some additional ideas and perspective when looking at your data to improve performance. While tracking man-hours/case is one of the valuable benchmark indicators we use monthly at our large multispecialty ASC, Dr. Brock-Utne gives a new perspective in his column “Is Staff Hours Per Case a Reliable Labor Metric?” on page 28. He reminds us that man-hours/case should not be the all-encompassing guide and offers a different staffing metric.

Looking at all the pieces of our puzzle and educating our governing board so

they understand the metrics and the pitfalls of those metrics is important. If we have a performance indicator that goes “rogue,” we dig in. Seeing the process firsthand is the most effective way to start on the road to improvement while using our PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) model to bring everything full circle. Sitting with your scheduler to assess patient “on-hold” times or reviewing what the physician’s office sends over, shadowing a patient through their entire date of service or being in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) on a day when you are providing recovery care to disabled adults that have received dental care under general anesthesia leads to a new understanding of the complexities that arise or road blocks that can be overcome to improve the process and performance indicators involved. One more thought to ponder. We wear many hats as leaders in our ASCs and time is a precious commodity, so keeping in mind the Pareto principle, or the “80/20 rule,” is important and will keep you more productive. Easy example: Your top 20 percent of procedures account for 80 percent of your income. This is a key consideration to use during contract negotiations. When working on performance indicators and improvement opportunities, concentrate your efforts and attention on the areas that will yield the highest gain: 80 percent of the effects or results come from 20 percent of the causes or inputs. We could spend every hour working on our benchmarks, operational data and other areas we want to improve. In the ASC environment this 80/20 principle comes naturally to many of us as we are constantly looking for ways to do things more efficiently and cut waste. Our goal is 100 percent safe patient care for every patient we serve. Using our time wisely and being efficient will mean more time available to focus on what’s most important—our patients. In life or at work, keep in mind, “Work hardest on elements that work hardest for you”

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(Yaro Starak, Remember this when looking at all your KPIs, process improvement activities, etc., and it will help you understand where to put your time and energy to have the greatest impact on you and your ASC.

Rebecca Craig, RN, CASC President of ASCA’s Board of Directors


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