Ambulatory Surgery Centers have been expanding their reach over the years, taking on a wider range of out-patient surgeries and specialty procedures. These include total joint replacements, ophthalmological procedures, GI procedures, and biopsies. It’s undeniable that doing more procedures at ASCs benefits the surgeons and staff at these facilities, but it’s also a great boon for patients, who benefit in many ways from the option of having procedures done at ASCs.
Patients may have to wait weeks or even months for elective or non-life-threatening procedures at hospitals because there are many potential issues. Emergencies, the competition for surgery suites, and the priority given to a wide range of other procedures can all delay the scheduling of operations at hospitals. ASCs focus on specific, specialty procedures and don't have to cope with sudden emergencies or a wide range of potential scheduling problems so that individuals can have their procedures scheduled much sooner.
A patient having a procedure at an ASC will benefit from the customized attention that can't be found at a hospital. Doctors working at ASCs have put together highly trained and experienced surgical and care teams focusing on the particular procedures being done. The surgical suites are designed and supplied to ensure optimal care for these specific procedures. Hospitals don’t offer this tailored focus.
Lower Infection Risk
The rate of post-op infection at ASCs is significantly lower than at traditional hospitals. According to Check Biotech, “It is not uncommon for ASC’s to report between 1 and 5 surgical site infections per 1000 patients (0.1%-0.5%) on average. The rate for hospitals can be approximately 20 times higher, as much as 20 infections per 1000 patients or as much as 2%." This is a significant advantage for patients and decreases their chances of life-altering or life-threatening complications that can lead to lengthy hospitalizations.
ASCs don't have the overhead of hospitals that have more significant staffing needs and higher costs for facility maintenance, supplies, and daily operations. Patients who have procedures at ASCs aren't paying for the high costs of emergency room care and other procedures that aren’t offered at ASCs but are offered at hospitals. These savings are passed on to patients through lower procedure costs and lower co-pays.
Because procedures at ASCs are out-patient, individuals can go home earlier and don’t have to pay the high price of an extended hospital stay that could rack up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in additional expenses.
Recovering from home is preferable for most patients going through a procedure at an Ambulatory Surgery Center. The shorter the time spent in a hospital or ASC, the lower the risk of infection. Patients are more comfortable recuperating at home and rest better in their own surroundings than they would in a hospital, where sleep is difficult at best.
ASCs offer better patient follow-up, often utilizing online education, text messaging, and other innovations to keep in touch with patients and ensure they understand what they need to do as they recover at home. Patients recovering at home often bounce back quickly because they are in a familiar environment and surrounded by friends and loved ones.
Freeing Up Hospitals for Urgent Situations
With more patients turning to ASCs for specialty procedures, hospitals have more time, money, and beds for patients who genuinely need them. Particularly during the last few years, when the pandemic has dramatically impacted the availability of hospital resources, ASCs have become an alternative that contributes to a solution that helps everyone.
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