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Top ASC Turnaround Priority: Communicating With Physician Offices

Rob Murphy, president and founder of Murphy Healthcare and founder of ASC Turnaround Group, says communication with physicians and their offices is a critical component of an ASC turnaround that is often overlooked. "We were recently involved in a turnaround where surgical schedulers in a particular physician's office were routinely booking outpatient cases at the local hospital," he says. "The hospital had multiple empty operating rooms and was the 'path of least resistance' to book cases."

He says the ASC started communicating one-on-one with a scheduler at the physician's office and repeatedly following up about cases. "[The physician's office] finally turned around and started booking all cases at the surgery center," he says. "[It] sounds like such a simple communication matter, but if not functioning properly, it can often be a roadblock to getting cases into the ASC."

Connie Casey, administrator of Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center, says communication with her physicians has helped her surgery center through multiple challenges. If a physician is scheduling cases at the hospital, as in Mr. Murphy's experience, her physicians talk to the problem physician to facilitate re-commitment to the surgery center. "I had a doctor who was doing cases in the hospital, and [all the other providers] said, 'What are you doing? Why are you doing that? This should be your first place to go.'" After that, the physician came to Ms. Casey and committed to bringing all his ASC-appropriate cases to her center.

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