Reading Time: 4 minutes
A Modern Healthcare Solution For Outpatient Treatment
A few decades ago, most surgeries were performed inside a hospital. Inpatient treatment and recovery could take weeks or months. As medical technology increased and minimally invasive surgery became more commonplace, the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) was created to streamline low-risk procedures. ASCs have become an effective and safe alternative to surgery in a hospital setting and if often less costly.
What is an ASC?
An ASC is a healthcare facility where patients can have same-day surgeries and procedures without staying over night in a hospital. Outpatient surgery has the same quality of staff, care, and equipment as hospitals, but without the overhead of emergency care costs. ASCs can perform a variety of procedures including gastric bypass surgery, meniscus removal, arthroscopy, joint replacement, and many other procedures because of advancements in medical technology.
Any surgery can cause patients stress and anxiety, even minimally-invasive surgeries. Unlike ASCs, hospitals hold a patient for anywhere from one day to one week, depending on the surgery type. ASCs, however, discharge patients the same day. The specialized staff is better equipped to schedule appointments. Patients won’t have to deal with acute emergencies delaying a scheduled procedure that can happen in a hospital environment.
As hospital visits and insurance deductibles keep rising, patients are turning to alternative facilities, including outpatient surgery centers. Studies suggest that having outpatient surgery is often more cost-effective. ASCs lack the overhead of emergency surgery equipment and staff. The staff in a surgery center have a more focused healthcare approach than traditional hospitals.
Higher nurse-to-patient ratio
Ambulatory surgery centers are uniquely designed to cater to one or multiple types of surgeries and procedures. A narrowly focused healthcare setting allows staff to schedule more effectively to avoid overbooking procedures and overworking staff. ASCs provide the right amount of nurses to keep patients cared for.
Lower risk of infection
ASCs typically reschedule patients who are ill to avoid spreading any illness. These facilities offer a surgical-centric setting with a low risk of infection. Patients spend a relatively small amount of time at an ASC compared to hospitals, which lowers the risk of spreading infection.
A case-by-case basis
When patients have a choice between a surgery center and a hospital, an ASC can be a worthy alternative to traditional inpatient treatment. Patients should consult with a surgeon to check if outpatient surgery is a safe and effective treatment option. Each case is different, but ASCs are becoming an increasingly accessible and affordable recourse for many patients.