Your ambulatory surgery center may have many advantages over hospitals, but it also faces more competition from new ASCs every year.
Between 2017 and 2022, the number of ASCs in the US grew 4.2% per year on average. During the pandemic, acute care hospitals were inundated with managing the influx of COVID patients and many ceased all elective procedures in order to direct funds, staff, and beds to patients with COVID. SG2 predicts that ASCs will experience a 25% increase in volumes by 2029, which equates to roughly 15 million orthopedic and spine surgeries that would have otherwise been completed in a traditional hospital setting. Neurosurgery and general medicine procedures will likely closely follow this orthopedic trend of migration to ambulatory settings.
Several factors will continue to drive the increased growth and utilization of ASCs over hospitals:
- ASCs offer significant cost savings that benefit patients, providers, and payers.
- ASCs pose a much lower risk of infection than hospitals.
- ASCs give providers more autonomy than they have in hospitals, which enables them to establish ASCs with specific focuses and well-defined protocols.
- Many payers are creating reimbursement incentives for orthopedic procedures to move to the ambulatory setting.
The increased demand for ASCs, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into improved revenue or profits at all ASCs. Some ASCs will outcompete others and capture a bigger share of the growing ASC market.
So, how can your ASC thrive in this competitive marketplace? The answer may be simpler than you think.
Excellent Care is a Prerequisite of Successful Marketing
The way your ASC succeeds in this market is by providing great care.
That sounds simple in theory, but the challenge, of course, is how to do this. We’ll turn to the how in a moment, but first you should consider the shift in patient behavior in recent years.
Healthcare consumers are an increasingly discerning and well informed group that will carefully evaluate your offerings and expect your ASC to have modern technology and remote care tools.
You can be certain that these consumers will look at your online ratings and reviews. In fact, according to a Press Ganey survey of more than 1,000 adults, provider reviews and ratings are the number one factor potential patients consider in choosing to book an appointment with a provider.
As a result, a critical part of your ASC marketing strategy is to deliver an excellent patient care experience that drives your patients to post favorable online reviews. To compete most effectively for market share, first focus on providing a top-notch care experience, excellent outcomes, and reasonable prices, and the patients will follow.
Why Standardized Pathways and Data Collection are Essential to Achieving Excellent Care
Given the importance of consistently satisfying and even exceeding patients’ expectations, it follows that you must have systems and processes in place that enable consistent excellence.
Standardized processes lead to better outcomes, a fact that surgeon and healthcare commentator Atul Gawande noted 10 years ago in a widely covered essay.
It’s easy to create standardized pathways at ASCs because of the autonomy they enable. Typically owned by physicians, ASCs give providers greater freedom than they have in hospitals to design standardized, efficient, and innovative care pathways. Unburdened by multiple layers of hospital management, physician owners can also move faster to buy needed equipment and tools, including digital care platforms.
As your ASC establishes its care processes, you’ll want to ensure your processes include routine, frictionless data collection because you can’t trumpet the excellent outcomes you achieve if you don’t first have the data to back up that claim.
You’ll also need outcomes data to show that you meet Joint Commission accreditation standards.
Likewise, data such as service utilization and patient preparedness and satisfaction, will help you drive process improvements at your ASC.
In short, standardized data collection drives all of the things your ASC cares about: outcomes, accreditation, and continual improvement.
On-Demand Webinar to Offer Insights on Succeeding in Competitive ASC Market
If you’d like to learn more about how to create the right processes to achieve excellent care and drive ASC success, check out this on-demand webinar: Creating a Successful Digital Infrastructure to Drive Results in the New Orthopedic Landscape.
During this panel discussion, the CEO and President of the Columbia Orthopaedic Group, ranked in Newsweek’s top 10 ASCs of 2021, explored topics such as:
- What ASC leaders can expect as the shift from hospitals to ASC continues
- How ASCs can attract new patients, even potentially before they have a need for a surgery
- What data practices can enable ASCs to achieve accreditation and favorable online ratings that drive demand
- How to effectively leverage data through a data analytics center of excellence as well as how defined digital care pathways make data collection easier
The panelists from Columbia Orthopaedic Group will also share what they’ve learned in implementing defined digital care pathways and the results they’ve achieved.
To access the recording, please complete the form below.