What ASCs need to know before adding service lines

Lutherville, Md.-based Green Spring Station of Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center recently launched a total joint and electrophysiology program.

Nurse manager Mahlet Ketema spoke with Becker's ASC Review on the most important things to know when adding service lines. 

Question: If you could give any advice to an ASC adding a service line, what would it be?

Mahlet Ketema: My advice to an ASC adding service lines is to perform a careful analysis and put a plan in place and be flexible as necessary to modify plans as you go — and follow through. 

Form a team that includes management, surgeons, nurses, surgical techs and anesthesia and figure out gaps in practice. Set a deadline and meet as often as necessary and review progress. Be willing to visit other institutions that already established the program and learn from. 

Be confident you know everything you need to know and have everything you need, including, but not limited to, equipment and instrument needs, staff training and proper scheduling before moving to do cases. Then do a dry run prior to launching the program to make sure everybody is on the same page and identify if there is anything that we missed.

After the procedure, debrief to identify items that need to improve, and fix issues before the next procedure. Continue the debrief as needed. Collaboration, frequent communication and forming a sound team are crucial in any of these steps. In a nutshell, this was the blueprint we followed to launch more than a dozen service lines including EP and total joints in less than two years that I worked as a nurse manager at Johns Hopkins ASC. We have been highly successful at this and ramped up our case volumes significantly.

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