Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) are becoming essential in today’s healthcare landscape as a viable alternative to hospital-based surgery without compromising patient care or outcomes.

One element that goes unnoticed is the vital need for ASCs designed to optimize patient flow, safety, and staff efficiency. That is where John Foudray, Director Real Estate and Facilities at Atlas Healthcare Partners appears. A 30+ year veteran, John discussed the pivotal role facilities management plays in ensuring smooth ASC operations.

How do you approach the planning phase, considering every center has its unique requirements and functions?

We have a set of design standards tailored for surgery centers to address unique requirements and functions. It involves meticulous attention to the details. Every center has distinct needs, and we make sure to accommodate them while focusing on patient flow, compliance and efficiency. The patient path should be efficient—from entry, prep, surgery, recovery, to discharge—as well as convenient as possible for both patients and clinical staff.

How vital is the environment of care and life safety in constructing an ASC?

Our mission is to be a high-quality, low-cost provider of care. So, it is key that we have ease of maintenance and use materials to enable cleanliness while remaining visually pleasing.

To do that, we focus intensively on the environment of care. That encompasses everything from air conditioning, heating, humidity, and plumbing to the overall cleanliness of the surroundings.

Another important element is the integration of systems with stringent compliance requirements, such as emergency power, medical gas, and fire protection. It’s about guaranteeing safety and creating an optimal environment continuously, even during crucial times such as power outages. The goal is to create an optimal and secure setting for patients, so they have an exceptional experience.

How important is it to conduct proper due diligence before constructing or retrofitting an ASC?

It’s paramount. It’s about foreseeing and mitigating risks, identifying  costs , and ensuring that a facility meets all clinical and operational requirements. A thorough assessment sets the stage for the project’s success, safeguarding against unforeseen challenges down the line.

How does the construction ensure efficient operations and an improved patient and staff experience?

ASCs are inherently designed to optimize efficiency. It’s crucial for nurses to take the least steps possible throughout the day to facilitate patient care. Unlike in hospitals where different sets of people may handle varied tasks, an ASC uses a teamwork approach in preparing for cases which speeds-up the process. This approach enables a seamless transition between cases, so ASCs can handle more cases in a day. The emphasis on efficiency is not just beneficial for patients but also results in a cohesive, streamlined, and more fulfilling experience for the staff.

Any final thoughts?

ASCs will play a big part in the future of healthcare. Diligent and knowledgeable facilities management plays an important, albeit a quiet, role in delivering efficient, patient-centric, high-quality, and low-cost care. It will be important to continue such diligence, so ASCs remain at the forefront of transforming healthcare for the better.

To delve deeper into the intricacies of ASC construction, design, and optimization, reach out to John Foudray here.