Michael Ast, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, told Becker's ASC Review the three things that can help orthopedic surgeons thrive with outpatient joint replacements this year.
Note: Response has been lightly edited for style and length.
Dr. Michael Ast: First is the development and implementation of strong, structured protocols that are evidenced-based for successful outpatient joint replacement. These protocols should specifically focus on patient selection, pain management, and blood and fluid management.
Second is alignment with the correct site of service for their patients and their practice. There are many different models of who owns or runs the facility, and it's critical surgeons ensure the center where they practice understands the unique logistical aspects involved in outpatient joint replacement. If choosing an ASC, these logistics focus on sterilization capacity, the ability to handle longer and more labor-intensive postoperative patient course, and the potential for an overnight stay if needed.
The third element is the collection and understanding of data with respect to patient outcomes. This allows for refinement of the protocols in place to ensure the highest-quality outcomes for our patients, and also becomes necessary to the process of negotiations with payers.