Efficiency is profitability," says Greg DeConciliis, PA-C, CASC, administrator of the Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites in Waltham, Mass. "And the key to efficiency is doing everything correctly, every time."
It's a tall but essential order. "Your No. 1 focus should be on your surgeons," says Mr. DeConciliis. "Above all, ensure maximum utilization. If you don't have fast surgeons, do some research and go out and recruit some." The emphasis, he says, should be on a surgeon's cost per minute.
But speed isn't the only consideration. "Also focus on attitude," he adds. "You want surgeons who are kind and respectful to your staff, who are willing to accept criticism and change, and who always arrive on time. When you find them, take the time to get to know them and keep them informed."
Using ultrasound for nerve blocks is another must to maintaining an efficient schedule. "If your anesthesiologists can't use ultrasound, train them," says Mr. DeConciliis.
When it comes to equipment and supplies, involve physicians and staff in the purchase decision-making. "Look for opportunities to do trials, use your GPO and ask if vendors have demos they can sell you," says Mr. DeConciliis.
Finally, hire the right people for your surgical team. "It's important to sit down with candidates and get to know them," he says. "We have them go through the perioperative process before hiring."
And then? "Keep them happy and pay them well. Give them lots of perks and good benefits. Bring in pizza once in a while."
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