It’s been rough the last few years at Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Staff members have had to take on additional roles when associates have been quarantined. Staffing shortages across the country now make it necessary for staff to multitask in ways they’ve never had to before. Your ASC still has to run smoothly and care properly for your patients even when short-staffed. The burden can be crushing. Nurses and other health care professionals may feel overwhelmed working in this newly chaotic environment. To ease the burden and let your staff get back to the most essential duties, including patient care, invest in technologies that make life easier on the job.
Simplify Patient Registration
Patient registration is time-consuming when your staff calls each patient and walks them through a questionnaire. There's also the frustration factor when staff and patients can't connect by phone, leading to phone tag and call-backs that take your nurses and medical assistants away from other duties.
Online pre-registration frees up hours every week for your staff. Patients also appreciate the chance to pre-register using a tablet, laptop, or mobile phone at their convenience. Because the patient is putting in the information, your staff can be confident the information is current and accurate.
Patient Engagement and Education
Patients have lots of questions and often call the ASC before and after procedures to ask about everything from how to change the bandages to when they can drive again. Using patient engagement software, you can send each patient videos, texts, and documents that answer their questions and give them detailed instructions.
By customizing your patient engagement offerings, you can ensure your patients feel like they're valued as individuals while relieving your ASC staff of having to spend hours on the phone or emailing patients detailed answers to questions.
Replace Follow-up Calls with Automated Texts
Calling a patient to follow up a day or two after surgery is standard procedure, but nurses often get caught up in long conversations that take them away from other priorities. Sending automated follow-up emails is a great way to touch base and find out who may need additional guidance and who is doing well.
Patient Tracking Boards
Ask a nurse, and she'll tell you that the old whiteboards for charting patient status and assignments are outdated, almost impossible to keep updated accurately, challenging to read, and often incorrect. In a busy ASC, having to erase information, re-enter it, then make adjustments and mark them on more than one board is a hassle and leads to frequent errors.
Patient Tracking software makes whiteboards obsolete. Any time an update is needed, you simply input it on your tablet, and it’s uploaded on the patient tracking boards throughout your facility. There is no need to enter it on a specific computer and go from room to room, making sure everyone has the most current information. Updates are live as soon as you hit "enter."
Automated Vendor Solutions
Ordering supplies, keeping trays in stock, and making sure you aren’t running low on anything can be a full-time job in an ASC. Automated vendor management software puts vendors in sync with your facility’s needs. They can confirm case updates and verify you’ll have the trays you need for every surgery. Knowing you have vendor software that keeps track of everything will greatly minimize stress for ASC staff. They won't have to worry about whether you are adequately stocked with everything your ASC needs for each procedure.
High stress levels can lead to nurses and other healthcare professionals quitting their jobs to save their mental health. Be sure you talk to your ASC staff to find out what part of their work is the most stressful. You'll discover that for most, it's the heavy burden of trying to perform a multitude of time-consuming tasks while still focusing on patient care. Using software technology to remove some of the administrative duties gives your staff time to focus on their roles as caregivers. It's a win for everyone, including the patients.
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