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The Top Things We Learned at ASCA 2023

We've had the past week-plus to reflect on our time at the terrific ASCA 2023 Conference & Expo. It was yet another great meeting hosted by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. We had the opportunity to meet up with old friends and make many new ones while learning about the biggest trends, opportunities, and challenges for the ambulatory surgery center industry.

Here are some of the top things we learned from attendees, presenters, and fellow exhibitors at the meeting.

  • Cookies make a great booth giveaway (super-soft T-shirts, too).

  • A lot of ASCs are already using text messaging. That's good news. But many of the texting solutions in use have risks and/or limitations. Some aren't HIPAA-compliant, which is problematic if you're sharing protected health information (PHI) or other sensitive data. Other solutions don't allow two-way conversational texting, which significantly decreases the ways text messaging can be used. And then there are "free" or bare-bones solutions that further reduce capabilities and can dissuade usage of texting. In other words, not all healthcare texting software is the same.

  • Staffing issues (e.g., recruitment, retention, burnout, satisfaction) remain a, if not the, top challenge facing ASCs today. Surgery centers are working to leverage a variety of tactics and solutions to navigate these issues. One presenter encouraged ASCs to better engage staff by providing a method for them to communicate and make them feel more involved in operations and success of the facility. For some ASCs, texting is helping greatly here.

  • One of the most significant barriers ASCs are facing when trying to engage with patients is communication.

  • ASCs are prioritizing technology that can more easily integrate with an existing EHR or other database system. "Interoperability" is a big buzzword these days, and rightfully so. It's essential for solutions to speak with one another to help ASCs take advantage of automation and streamlined workflows — and ultimately "do more with less."

  • Some veteran staff are resistant to using new technologies because of concerns that such solutions will diminish the patient care experience. When adding new solutions, ASCs will want to demonstrate how the technology can enhance the patient experience and give patients a greater opportunity to participate in their care. Surgery centers should also emphasize how new technologies can help in other areas that matter greatly to staff, including improving outcomes, increasing patient satisfaction, growing volume (i.e., providing care to more patients), and reducing taxing, manual processes.

If you were unable to attend ASCA 2023 and would like to learn why Dialog Health's HIPAA-compliant, two-way texting solutions are relied upon by ASCs and surgery center operators nationwide to improve patient and staff communication and engagement, fill out this form.



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