Stay on the Forefront of Efficiency and Quality Consider these new strategies BY MICHAEL RIVERS, MD

During the last 27 years, as an ophthalmic surgeon, I also was part owner of an ASC in Washington, DC. While I was able to transi-

tion successfully, I wish I had had many of the tools and features available today that would have made my life easier and my business more profitable. For successful ASCs, striving for

greater efficiency and quality improve- ment is not new, but newer technology can make getting there easier. Regardless of whether your ASC specializes in ophthalmology, gastro- enterology or aesthetic dermatology, taking full advantage of the features of your practice management and electronic health record (EHR) sys- tems can help improve your financial bottom line.

Efficiency is Essential Efficiency touches every aspect of your ASC, from the number of proce- dures you and your colleagues perform to your financial success and, ulti- mately, patient satisfaction. And while there are a limited number of hours in a day no matter what you do, software tools you might be familiar with— and some you might not have consid- ered—can fuel this greater efficiency. An ASC is no different than a traditional clinical setting when it comes to practice management soft- ware. The system needs to be effi- cient at scheduling, billing and help- ing to boost patient engagement. Before patients

walk in the

door, software that contacts them in advance—and provides an opportunity to complete required forms before- hand—can

save considerable time

The staff member signing in each

patient can then confirm completion of the forms and admit the patient to the preop area without delay. This strat- egy can mean the difference between a 1-minute and 10-minute intake, which can quickly add up for ASCs that see 40 to 50 patients a day. Furthermore, faster patient intake

can promote less time in common areas, which can be safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

from the outset. The advice and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion.

Paying for Additional Services Regardless of whether you run an ASC that specializes in gastroenterology,


ophthalmology, plastic surgery, ortho- pedics, urology or podiatry, or even a multi-specialty ASC, there might be instances where patients opt to pay for

additional products or services

not covered by insurance. Some prac- tice management software streamlines these transactions.

Patients who want to upgrade a cat-

aract surgery lens beyond what Medi- care typically covers, or choose a filler product or botulinum toxin treatment in addition to an aesthetic dermatol- ogy surgery, provide examples of situ- ations that can lead to possible out-of- pocket payments.

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