What Is an Ambulatory Surgery Center?
An ambulatory surgery center (ASC) is an outpatient health care facility that provides surgical care and other procedures in a single day. Unlike a conventional hospital, which can require multiple overnight stays, these centers can result in a better experience when you need surgery — especially during COVID-19.
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Hospitals are no longer the only — or even the best — place to have outpatient elective surgery in the United States. Smaller, specialized ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) offer a smart alternative.
The first ambulatory surgery center opened 50 years ago in Phoenix, Arizona, when a pair of physicians wanted an outlet for more efficient and personalized care. Today, the freestanding medical facilities have expanded their footprint across the medical industry. More than 5,000 ASCs now perform about 35% of all surgeries in the United States.¹
Find out why CIGC is ideal for your GYN surgery, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Talk to a patient advocate today.
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Surgeons and Patients Benefit
ASCs are designed to maximize efficiency of health care delivery. At the ASCs used by The Center for Innovative GYN Care, for instance,
- Surgeons spend less time on administrative matters and more time on your care.
- Access to operating rooms is quick and easy.
- ORs turn over rapidly between surgeries.
These and other measures pay off in less waiting and a smoother experience for you. And, thanks to factors such as low overhead and no overnight stays, an ASC can pay off in significant savings on the overall cost of your bill, too.
If you plan to have elective surgery, here’s what else you need to know about ASCs.
ASCs Are Not “Hospital Lite”
They are fully staffed for outpatient procedures. You’ll receive care from the same team of health care professionals you would find at a hospital, from front-desk staff and surgical assistants to surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists. Because fewer patients have surgery at the same time, you receive more personalized care during each step of the process.
ASCs are fully equipped. CIGC, for one, performs its surgeries in an ASC that is outfitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment, surgery suites, and preoperative and post-operative areas.
Safety Is Paramount
Most ASCs are licensed and subject to rigorous, ongoing state and federal inspections. There are also oversight bodies, including the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, that create and maintain standards of care to which ASCs must adhere.
They are easier to safeguard against COVID-19. Unlike hospitals, ASCs do not treat patients with COVID-19. Because they are smaller in size, ASCs are easier to keep clean and sterile, and fewer people enter the facility at a time. Best of all, you return to the safety of your home the same day.
The ASCs used by CIGC follow the latest pandemic recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, state departments of health and leading medical associations. This includes following state mandates regarding COVID testing prior to surgery and protocols for when to reschedule surgery if a patient tests positive.
Your surgery can be scheduled more quickly at an ASC. Hospitals may still be dealing with a backlog of elective surgeries that were canceled during the first wave of the pandemic. You won’t be delayed when you’re having your procedure at an ASC. This can be a critical consideration if you are suffering from symptoms of a chronic GYN condition.
The Future of ASCs
According to industry leaders on the October 2020 Becker’s ASC Leadership Virtual Forum, one of the biggest drivers of ambulatory surgery center growth is the need for new solutions and innovation to bring down the cost of health care in the United States. Ambulatory surgery centers will continue to be out front in this regard, investing time and resources in such areas as technology for more efficient communication with patients and the migration of more surgical procedures to the outpatient setting. Growth is needed for new solutions and innovation to bring down the cost of health care in the United States. Ambulatory surgery centers will continue to be out front in this regard, investing time and resources in such areas as technology for more efficient communication with patients and the migration of more surgical procedures to the outpatient setting.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how ASCs have the capacity and flexibility to ease the burden on hospitals. This benefit, combined with patients’ concerns about exposure to the virus while in the hospital and the need for more affordable health care, will see the role of ambulatory surgery centers only increasing for the foreseeable future.
Get the safe, timely, personalized GYN care you deserve. Talk to a CIGC patient advocate about surgery at an ASC today.
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The Center for Innovative GYN Care is dedicated to advanced laparoscopic outpatient surgery using just two small incisions and the highest degree of safety.
CIGC’s founders, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Paul MacKoul, MD, and Natalya Danilyants, MD, developed their innovative GYN surgical techniques with minimal pain and fast recovery in mind. Dr. MacKoul is also CEO of the ASC management company Tower Surgical Partners, which oversees CIGC.
1. MacKoul P, Danilyants N, Baxi R, van der Does L, Haworth L. Laparoscopic hysterectomy outcomes: hospital vs ambulatory surgery center. JSLS. 2019;23(1):e2018.00076. doi:10.4293/JSLS.2018.00076