What does it take to successfully manage an ASC? As with any administrative role, you must find the balance of being a leader and being a team player. Follow these 4 habits for success in your leadership role and in your ASC.

1. Study your Appendixes

Whether or not your surgery center is CMS-certified, understanding the guidelines and regulations put out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can provide valuable context. Appendix L and Appendix Z provide operations guidelines for ASCs and are available for download from the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA). In addition, you will want to familiarize yourself with state guidelines and other accreditations, such as the Joint Commission and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

2. Understand scheduling will always be a work in progress

Efficiency is crucial to the success of an ASC. But getting patients from point A to point B in the best way is going to be a continual process of improvement. Good leaders conduct regular reviews to identify gaps in efficiency, optimize resources, and minimize downtime. When you take over an ASC, you may need to invest in new tools that help staff communicate more effectively, both with patients and each other.

3. Manage meetings like a pro

Time management is crucial to any team’s success. Whether you’re conducting a 10-minute check-in or a monthly staff meeting, set an agenda and stick to it. You earn respect and buy-in when employees know that you value their time. One strategy that can work well is to pause a meeting when there are 10-15 minutes left in the appointment. If there are additional topics to cover, identify whether these questions can be addressed in the remaining time, or if another meeting is needed.

4. Know that you don’t know everything

All good leaders are first followers. You can learn a lot from the staff who have their boots on the ground and are providing direct patient care. You will never know everything—rely on your team members’ experience and expertise. You have the skills to successfully manage an ASC, but none of us can go it alone.

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