When it comes to outpatient surgical care, ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) are becoming a reliable choice for patients with less critical surgical needs. It’s estimated more than half of all outpatient surgical procedures in the United States are currently handled by ambulatory surgery centers. That number is only expected to grow as the volume of outpatient procedures will increase by 15 percent by 2028. As patient volume increases, patient satisfaction plays a large part in the success of ASCs. These organizations count on delivering fast, personal, and efficient treatment to drive favorable patient feedback and repeat businesses as they grow and stay profitable. To make this possible, reliable, seamless patient engagement is key.  

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Ambulatory surgery centers and the future of healthcare 

ASCs have transformed the patient experience for Americans by offering a convenient alternative to hospital care – an important achievement considering the increasingly complex treatment environment. A reliable and easy alternative to hospital-based outpatient care, ASCs allow patients to be treated effectively without ever having to step foot in a traditional hospital. The setting is particularly well suited for outpatient endoscopic, orthopedic, LASIK, reconstructive surgeries, and pain management.  

Hospital outpatient treatment is still challenging as the volume of patients in the healthcare ecosystem continues to rise. While first introduced in the mid-70s, ASCs have recently experienced a dramatic surge in popularity – with an estimated 6,000 ASCs in the US today performing 22.5 million surgical procedures annually. 

In an ASC environment, physicians have more freedom to schedule procedures and build more effective treatment teams. This brings a new level of quality to outpatient surgery, as surgeons can create an environment that meets the needs of specific patients.  

This recent growth is also driven by cost efficiency. Estimates show the Medicare ecosystem saves more than $2.6 billion each year due to ASCs. That’s because procedures are significantly less expensive as compared to hospitals. Patients also benefit from lower co-pays when treated in an ASC. But to ensure facility success and profitability, patient satisfaction is critical – which is largely determined by reliable and effective patient engagement. Increasingly, ASCs are turning to patient engagement platforms to make this possible. 

3 ways ambulatory surgery centers benefit from patient engagement platforms 

As clear and effective engagement between provider and patient is critical, ASCs can no longer rely on outdated methods of communication such as texts, pagers, and e-mails. Not only are these methods of communication less dependable, but they often don’t meet the broad range of healthcare regulations and standards regarding patient safety, infection control, and HIPAA. And because patients often spend limited time in the facility, ASCs often find it difficult to engage with patients before and after procedures.  

For this reason, more ASCs are turning to patient engagement platforms like those from TigerConnect to effectively communicate, collaborate and engage with patients. These dedicated platforms allow ASCs to communicate more effectively throughout the entire pre- and post-surgical process – driving improved patient satisfaction, better outcomes, and reduced readmissions. This is good business for ASCs, as their success often relies on positive word-of-mouth. There are three ways, in particular, ASCs can benefit from adopting a reliable patient engagement platform: 

1. Communication and Collaboration 

Effective patient engagement platforms can significantly improve communication and collaboration across care teams and with patients. Secure and compliant messaging, voice, and video calling ensure patients stay informed at all steps during the surgical process with real-time data and information. This not only helps patients better prepare for procedures and feel more comfortable but aligns with the preference for patients to get real-time updates via secure text messages. 

2. Patient Satisfaction 

The success of today’s ASC is often decided by positive word-of-mouth and recommendations from existing and past patients. Time and again, it has been proven that better engagement between providers and patients is a determining factor for a positive experience. Patient engagement platforms allow ASCs to conduct frictionless communications with patients before and after procedures. Providers can send pre-procedure instructions via secure messaging and communicate as needed. This leads to improved overall satisfaction with their experience.  

3. Better Patient Outcomes 

The goal of any ASC is to deliver top-quality care to patients for outpatient procedures. Better patient engagement is a proven approach to delivering better care and ultimately better outcomes.  

Patients no longer need to repeatedly call for appointments, pre-operative and post-operative instructions, or for questions about medication. These platforms specifically help them take an active role in their preparation and recovery. Leveraging integrated voice, video, and text, patients, and providers can communicate more seamlessly. Automated patient reminders minimize missed appointments, while staff burden is reduced by enabling key data to be collected, stored, and managed prior to any procedure.  

Even once the procedure is complete, these platforms continue to improve outcomes and engagement – offering educational materials, videos, and articles to help patients better understand procedures and recovery plans. This significantly improves surgical outcomes by reducing complications and the potential for readmissions.  

Make the Connection for Better Patient Engagement 

Looking towards the next decade, ambulatory surgery centers are expected to oversee 25 percent more surgeries and procedures. As the environment continues to become a reliable alternative for patent treatment, the ability to grow and retain patients will become more competitive. One of the best approaches to achieving a strong reputation is fast, accurate, and reliable engagement with patients. TigerConnect Patient Engagement was designed to improve better patient engagement and satisfaction in healthcare settings, offering a solution that can help ASCs achieve their goals. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how TigerConnect can revolutionize your patient engagement strategies and enhance the overall experience for your patients. 

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