Imagine this frustrating scenario. A patient has been waiting for surgery for days. Then the phone rings, and that patient finds out, yet again, the hospital must reschedule. Whether in an ASC, or a conventional hospital, more than 19 million surgeries happen yearly. Most surgeries are elective procedures like total joint replacements, colonoscopies, eye surgeries, or tendon repairs. These figures do not represent the thousands delayed every day. So what’s the holdup?
No room, no surgery
Hospitals depend on a smooth throughput of patients to schedule elective surgeries. If there are no rooms available, patients will need to be rescheduled. Poor case management and high patient influx can cause delays.
Doctor and patient availability
Surprisingly, absenteeism is one of the top reasons for surgical delays. Surgeons can be absent due to emergencies, poor scheduling, or other reasons. Patients can also contribute to the issue. If a patient arrives late or does not show up for a procedure, a reschedule affects other patients.
Fewer resources, fewer surgeries
Some hospitals do not have enough resources to complete scheduled procedures. Shortages are mostly the case in rural locations. For instance, the patient may need a test or evaluation that’s not available. There could be other needs that make the surgeons, nurses, and administrators unprepared for surgery. Administrative and resource gaps can result in frustrated patients.
Delayed surgeries have significant consequences
Since almost all delayed surgeries are elective, one can argue that getting rescheduled is not a big deal. The patient is not in danger, and the surgery will eventually happen. That may be true, but there are significant consequences to delaying elective surgeries. Patients will endure more emotional stress from waiting. Stress can lead to worsening conditions, leading to emergency surgeries. Delayed surgeries can also cost hospitals and patients time and money. These constant delays can also hurt the hospital’s reputation, affecting throughput and potentially leading to closures.
The ASC advantage
With an ambulatory surgical center or ASC, patients won’t have to worry about delays. ASCs are clinics that specialize in elective, outpatient surgeries. These centers have the resources to handle multiple surgeries per day. Furthermore, ASCs focus on providing exceptional patient service. Even if the assigned surgeon becomes unavailable for some reason, another will be ready to go. That means every patient receives surgery on time, saving time and money.
Choose an ASC today
Hospitals can perform both elective and emergency surgeries. For elective surgeries, hospitals are prone to delay procedures due to resources and administrative reasons. More and more patients should elect for an ASC and enjoy the benefits of efficiency and timeliness.