Archive November 2012 XIII, No. 11

How We Started a Spine Program

Slow and steady wins the race when adding surgery's hottest — and most lucrative — specialty.

Carol Cappella, RN, MSN, CNOR

BIO

diversify and expand FROM SCRATCH It took 18 months to get fully up and running, and now an average of 17 procedures a month are being done.

When I started at Delray Beach (Fla.) Surgery Center 3 1⁄2 years ago, the caseload was 60% ophthalmology. But revenues were flagging and profits were down, so we looked to diversify and expand. As it turned out, no one was doing spine in the ASC setting in our community. We set about researching and recruiting. Over the last 18 months, we've brought on 4 spine surgeons, bought all the supplies and capital equipment, and recruited and hired staff who specialize in spine. Here's how we started the program from scratch.

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