Archive Surgical Construction 2018

Set Up for Same-Day Spine

A new 50,000-square-foot surgery center will help our surgeons keep pace with an expected jump in case volume.

Doris Collier

Doris Collier

BIO

Elbow Room
ELBOW ROOM The Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists' new space will feature 600-square-foot ORs outfitted for spine and joint replacements.

Our orthopedic practice was aware of the buzz surrounding outpatient spine — that better anesthetic techniques, minimally invasive approaches and improved pain management are making believers out of surgeons, patients and insurers — but it was the 600 spine cases our orthopods were performing at the local hospital each year that really got our attention. Why shouldn't our group manage all aspects of care and profit from the procedures? That's when we decided to build a surgery center set up for same-day spine and outpatient orthopedics.

Early into our search for a new space, we found a 50,000-square-foot building that was centrally located to our other offices with off-highway access to serve the majority of our patient population. The former tenant was a major electronics distributor, so we have plenty of remodeling planned for our contractors. If all goes according to plan, we should have the facility up and running by early next year. I've helped surgical practices open surgery centers around the country before bringing my knowledge and expertise to this project. Here's my best advice for building a spine facility with clinical efficiencies and cost-effectiveness in mind.

1 Prepare to spend big

Opening a new spine center can be an expensive proposition. Our move to the new space will be unique because of the amount of renovations we have to do. We'll be opening 8 ORs and will also be moving to 23-hour status — meaning we'll need a lot of room for post-op recovery. When it's all said and done, the entire undertaking will run several million dollars.

CAPITAL EXPENSE
CAPITAL EXPENSE CAPITAL EXPENSE The budget to purchase the specialized equipment needed to perform spine procedures could easily surpass $1 million.

Considering the tools needed to do same-day spine safely and efficiently, you could spend well over $1 million just on equipment alone. Any center looking to outfit their ORs would need to invest in several key pieces of equipment — specialized spine tables, X-ray machines and anesthesia machines — each costing in excess of $100,000. Likewise, a new C-arm could cost $90,000 to $150,000 and a new surgical microscope will likely run you more than $100,000.

Purchasing refurbished equipment remains one cost-trimming option, but you need to have confidence that your equipment will withstand the rigors of a high-volume facility. Aside from the large capital expenditures, you have to factor in the costs of the long list of other essentials, ranging from surgical supplies like multiple sets of power tools, light sources, spine instrumentation and patient-positioning equipment, to all the pre-op and post-op needs, such as vital signs monitors and patient beds, to sterile processing equipment like autoclaves and washers. The costs add up quickly.

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