TheAmbulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are health care institutions thatprovide patients with acceptable surgical practices, which are safelycarried outside the hospital environment (Courtmanche et al., 2011).From their inauguration, around four decades ago, they have portrayedan extraordinary capability to not only improve the quality ofservice provision but also reduce the costs within the healthcaresettings. Though more changes, which have emanated from theadvancements in technology and other developments in healthfacilities, come along with high price tag, this area has taken adifferent lane and gone against such odds. It is, therefore,necessary to look at the major factors that acted as driving forcesto the diffusion of this concept and the important its impacts sincethe inception.
Factorsthat Contributed to the Shift to ASCs
Themajor factor that contributed to the adoption of this feature is thestruggle to advance the troubled and costly health system. Fourdecades ago, almost all surgical procedures were carried out in thehospitals. Waiting for several weeks and even months for anappointment was the order of the day. Patients could spend severaldays up to weeks out of work as they waited to recover. The birth ofASCs, in 1970, by the two physicians aimed at establishing the highquality, cost friendly and a suitable alternative to the hospitalcare for the operational processes (Koenig et al., 2013). Since thedoctors were faced with the stress due to delays in scheduling,limited operation rooms, slow processes in the places due toturnovers times, and the challenges in accessing advanced equipmentdue to fixed hospital budgets and programs prompted providers to comeup with ASCs.
Anotherfactor that has contributed to the emergence of this field is theadvancement in technology, which made it possible for a broad rangeof procedures to grow and to be carried out safely in outpatientsetup. Enhanced and effective anesthetics and employment oftechniques which are less invasive have speeded up the shift to theoutpatient settings. Processes which were only successful after majorincisions, long-lasting aesthetics, and lengthy convalescence havebeen transformed due to technological changes (Sultz et al., 2013). As the numerous innovations continue to be realized in the healthcare system, many procedures will be carried out safely in a costeffective approach within the outpatient environment.
Impactsof ASCs to Clients, Hospitals and the Providers
TheASCs has significantly influenced by the practices of the physicians.In fact, instead of working in hospitals the doctors working in theASCs have increasingly taken control of the surgical practices. Inthe ASCs surrounding, providers can design the processes in aconvenient way, assembling a team of experts, make sure that thefacilities in places are suited to the techniques listed and come upwith services that are tailored to their specialization and theparticular needs of the patients (Koenig et al., 2013). Anotherimpact that has been realized within this field by health careproviders is autonomy. The physicians are always independent of thework background.
Patientsand the hospitals have also benefited from the field. The mainadvantage has been cutting on costs. Apart from improved quality,ASCs have enabled the government, hospitals, and the patients to cuton costs. On average, the parties save about $25 billion annuallysince the facility pays less for the procedures in the ASCs incomparison to same processes in the hospitals. The expenditures inhospitals have been cut considerably, and patients also pay lesscoinsurance for the surgical practices carried out in ASCs.
Courtemanche,C., & Plotzke, M. (2011). Does competition from ambulatorysurgical centers affect hospital surgical output? Journalof Health Economics,29(5),765-773.
Koenig,L., & Gu, Q. (2013). Growth of Ambulatory Surgical Centers,Surgery Volume, and Savings to Medicare. AmericanJournal of Gastroenterology,108(1),10-15.
Sultz, A. &Kristina M.(2013). Health CareUSA: Understanding Its Organization and Delivery (Bookwith Access Code) (8th ed.). Amazon: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.