Governance in an ASC


Centers continue to grow in popularity as cost-effective, convenient alternatives to hospital care, making effective governance more important than ever. 

Administrators and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) leaders play a key role in ensuring that their organizations are properly governed. They can also help their ASCs thrive in a competitive and complex healthcare environment by establishing and maintaining a robust governance program.

Here are some key aspects of ASC governance that administrators should keep in mind:

Organizational Structure that establishes clear lines of responsibility and authority.
Administrators should ensure that everyone understands the governance structure and reporting lines, and that they have the necessary authority to carry out their duties effectively. This includes both administrative staff and clinical staff as well as any external stakeholders such as investors or partners.

Develop, implement, enforce and monitor policies and procedures.
ASCs must adhere to a range of regulatory requirements and industry standards, so it's important to have robust policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance. These should cover all aspects of ASC operations, from clinical protocols to financial management.

Maintain effective communication.
Effective governance requires clear communication at all levels of the organization. This includes regular meetings and updates for staff and stakeholders, as well as clear communication channels for reporting concerns or issues. Administrators should encourage an open and transparent culture where staff feel comfortable raising issues and asking questions.

Ensure financial sustainability.
Administrators should work closely with financial staff to ensure that the ASC is operating efficiently, revenue is being maximized, and costs are being controlled. They should also ensure that the ASC has appropriate financial controls in place to prevent fraud or financial mismanagement.

Monitor and evaluate performance.
Regular performance monitoring and evaluation is essential for effective governance. Administrators should develop appropriate metrics and benchmarks for clinical and financial performance, and regularly review progress against these goals and to ensure that the ASC is complying with regulatory requirements and industry standards.

ASC Administrators and leaders play a critical role in ensuring that their ASCs are properly governed to maintain high standards of care and compliance with regulatory requirements. Establishing or revising an organized governance program involves creating documents and processes that identify, track and document all aspects of care provided in the center.

Today’s ASC leaders may lack the knowledge, experience or time to manage this task. We created a new course in the ASC Academy: A Guide to series to assist administrators with bridging this gap. The ASC Academy: A Guide to Governance was designed by the AORN ASC team and includes governance compliance checklists for CMS, The Joint Commission and AAAHC. It has the foundational information as well as a plethora of implementation tools for a successful governance program. We are excited to continue to create these products that go beyond educating by providing step-by-step instructions and customizable tools for success.

For more information on this new education course, go to ASC Academy: A Guide to Governance | AORN OSM

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