Investing in patient engagement strategies to grow ASCs


While health facilities continue to wrestle with the rapidly changing health care environment and attempt to evolve and pivot to the changing legal, safety and quality requirements, patients struggle to understand and manage their costs while identifying accessible and helpful care providers invested in their well-being.

AMSURG is exploring strategies to improve patient engagement and patient experience, including making it easier to schedule appointments and procedures at AMSURG ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs).

“Patient engagement is on everyone’s minds. We know that patients who are more actively engaged in their health have better outcomes,” said Pauline Wilson, associate vice president of patient relationship solutions.

Those outcomes can be directly impacted by the patient experience while at the surgery center and even after they have returned home, which is why AMSURG is looking into providing:

  • Wi-Fi in surgery center waiting areas
  • Education information for companions who accompany patients to the ASC
  • Immediate clinical results for patients
  • Mobile applications to maintain connections to patients beyond the surgery center procedure
The rapid change in connected health care, combined with online health care information are significant drivers for the AMSURG gastroenterology (GI) patient engagement strategy, said Eric Thrailkill, vice president and chief information officer.

“We all participate in consumer capabilities, on the web or our smartphones, each and every day. Patients frequently wonder why access to information and conducting transactions online or on a connected device isn’t quite yet ready for primetime within our industry," Thrailkill said.  "Certainly, the proliferation of connected smartphones, combined with sensors and medical devices is empowering patients to better understand and share information with their health care providers. We’re poised to assist in this information sharing with the consideration of our technology platform.”

Mark Wainner, vice president of corporate services, said that data collected from GIQuIC (a registry for gastroenterology physicians to share their outcome data and compare with other physicians across the U.S.) and the success of early efforts of physicians who have been willing to change how they engage with patients is a compelling argument for a more robust patient engagement strategy.

“It is our mission to help physicians improve, adapt and grow, and so we have a charter to assist our physicians in this area and prove to them the benefits of changing the way they are for their patients,” Wainner said.

Part of the overall AMSURG GI patient engagement strategy also includes providing patients with discernible and detailed quality measures from the GIQuIC program. GIQuIC offers colonoscopy measures from physicians such as:

  • Adenoma detection rates
  • Intubation rates
  • Withdrawal times
  • Prep adequacy
Armed with this information, patients will be able to make more informed decisions when it comes to scheduling their procedures, ensuring that they are choosing the best quality for their health.


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