Embrace Change Add new procedures, technology to your ASC BY ROBERT KURTZ


y embracing clinical innova- tion, ASCs can continue to be

the preferred site for outpatient sur- gery among patients and physicians. “We should not sit back and only perform those procedures already coming our way,” says Alfonso del Granado, CASC, administrator of Covenant High Plains Surgery Cen- ter in Lubbock, Texas. “We must remain engaged to ensure we are always at least on par or preferably ahead of hospitals for the technolo- gies and procedures within our capa- bilities and budget.” One example of innovation that has found its way into ASCs over the past few years is the Savi Scout. Devel- oped by Cianna Medical in Aliso Viejo, California, the Savi Scout pro- cedure uses a small reflector device and radar technology to help surgeons target tissue during a lumpectomy. It offers an alternative to the more com- mon method of inserting a wire into the breast on the day of surgery. Stockton Surgery Center in Stock- ton, California, part of the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, added the procedure in 2018, after the ASC learned about the technology from one of its general surgeons, says Katrina Holmes, who oversees Stock- ton Surgery Center. “We are all about creating greater access to services throughout our integrated network and improving the overall patient experience. This technology seemed like a great complement to our ASC’s women’s breast health program.” Covenant High Plains Surgery

Center also offers the Savi Scout pro- cedure. Del Granado says his ASC will always consider opportunities to add innovative technology. “If you are

Proper training and education help lay the groundwork for high- quality care.”

—Katrina Holmes Stockton Surgery Center

not performing the latest and great- est procedures, or at least preparing to do so, you run the risk of eroding your appeal to those surgeons driv- ing patients to your ASC. When you can be among the first facilities to add new procedures, it helps your physi- cians build their practices, thus help- ing grow your ASC in the process.” Before an ASC adds an innovative procedure, del Granado says, it should complete a comprehensive assessment that includes determining if the proce- dure is safe and appropriate to perform and whether adding the innovation makes sense from a financial perspec- tive. That requires looking at the total cost of ownership, he adds.


If a new procedure will positively enhance Covenant High Plains Surgery Center’s revenue, it will likely receive approval, del Granado says. “If adding the innovation can benefit a physician because it will attract more patients to the practice, we will consider tak- ing revenue-neutral cases. If revenue will be negative, we will generally not add the procedure. However, we will continue to explore whether adding it makes sense down the road.” Once a new procedure is approved, ASCs need to allocate time and resources to ensure their staff are adequately prepared to perform the new procedure, says Holmes. “Proper training and education help lay the groundwork for high-quality care,” she says. To safely perform the Savi Scout, Cianna Medical trained two of Stock- ton Surgery Center’s surgeons and its operating room staff at the ASC. “Our radiologist learned how to place the reflector inside a patient’s breast while using the technology at Sutter’s Memorial Medical Center,” she explains.

As you complete procedures, del Granado recommends, track and share your outcomes data with your physicians and encourage them to share it with patients. “Providing patients with these data can help them feel more comfortable with undergoing a new procedure since they know it will be performed in a facility that is superlative in its qual- ity of care,” he says. Adding innovation, Holmes says, is

rewarding in many ways. “Our patients in Stockton have been thrilled that they do not need to travel out of town to access cutting-edge technology.”

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