patient flow data. If problems occur, staff can dive deeper into the data to find the root cause. For example, users can drill down and view case types or individual procedure by supply items, room and staff times. Being able to quickly pull detailed reports can save staff hours by eliminating the need to do labor-intensive analysis or manu- ally track each step in the process. Likewise, these tools can help facili- ties understand the conditions that lead to the best results. Today, EHR systems that target the unique needs of ASCs are avail- able. This is a big deal considering the unique workflow and regulatory and reporting needs of an ASC. For facil- ities affiliated with a hospital, inter- faces can allow the ASC system to integrate with the hospital’s system, often eliminating the need to convert to the hospital system. ASC EHRs also can integrate with physician offices so

While there is no perfect system, there are still considerable differences between EHRs, especially those designed specifically for ASCs.”

— Lindsay McQueeney Hanrahan SourceMedical

that physicians can complete the ASC requirements, such as the physician order, history and physical (H&P) or informed consent, at their office and then send them to the ASC. This elim- inates duplication of information and the need to fill out forms twice.

Cost Control Certain ASCs do not want to make the investment needed to buy an EHR sys- tem because these systems are not man-

datory in ASCs. Rather than asking whether an EHR system is worth the investment, perhaps the better question for an ASC to ask is can it afford not to implement an EHR system?


Free standing, 3,800–4,000 sqft medical office with ample parking

State-licensed ASC has one operating room and one smaller operating room.

Asking $4.75 million, not including real estate. Serious inquiries only.

Reply to and/or or fax: 847.398.4585.

When the cost of purchasing and maintaining an EHR system and asso- ciated hardware are a concern, cloud solutions can be an ideal option. Cloud deployments enable ASCs to get up and running quickly with reduced upfront investment because the only thing needed is a broadband Inter- net connection and a laptop or tablet. Vendors guarantee almost 100 per- cent uptime and are responsible for managing all of the upgrades, mainte- nance and backups, allowing facilities to focus efforts on patients and physi- cians, not on technology. Security risks are better managed as well. Breaches and hacks can happen with on-prem- ise or hosted systems. It comes down to how well they are managed and how the data is encrypted. As an example, many breaches can happen due to sto- len or lost hardware. Many facilities are not staffed to ensure an on-premise environment is as secure as it should be. Having a vendor who knows the appropriate security protocols on top of security 24/7 is often a better option.

Selecting the Right System ASCs considering implementing an EHR system should do their research, know their needs, and most impor- tantly, speak with other users. Look for administrators who have used a system for a considerable amount of time and will tell you the truth. While there is no perfect system, there are still con- siderable differences between EHRs, especially those designed specifically for ASCs.

Lindsay McQueeney Hanrahan is the vice president of product planning at SourceMedical in Wallingford, Connecticut. Write her at


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