Building a new HOPD? Hire an ASC operations expert to save time and money

Opening a new hospital outpatient department (HOPD) can be a daunting task, especially when starting from the ground up with new construction. When dealing with a new build, the construction planning stage is one of the most critical elements.

Overbuilding can prove costly when space sits unused, so the design and workflow of the building are essential to a center’s success. The walls and structures need careful consideration during the planning stage. Building codes, which are vastly different for an ASC and HOPD in comparison to a hospital, must be addressed early on.

When building a new center, it is easy to overlook things, especially when you are seeing them from a hospital perspective. Because ASCs and HOPDs function quite differently than hospitals, hiring an industry expert with deep ASC experience will help ensure your new build functions the way an ASC should. To ensure you get the most of your partnership, consider these tips:

1. Enlist the help of an ASC operations expert at the onset of the build, when plans are being drawn up. The goal in hiring an ASC expert is to gain valuable insight that will save you time and money in the long run. For example, while an expansive floor plan with a large number of bays may work well in a hospital setting, ASCs require much less space. An ASC expert can also help with the configuration of patient placement, the instrument processing area, staffing areas and supplies to ensure the best workflow and keep costs down.

2. Hire an ASC expert that will do more than simply point out what won’t work. He or she should offer detailed advice and help craft plans to ensure the success of your new build. A seasoned expert will also help with such things as staffing ratios, setting PAR levels for supplies to ensure efficiency, and much more.

3. If your staff is new to the outpatient environment, look for someone that can educate your team on the ‘ASC mindset’ which is vastly different from a hospital mindset, especially in terms of patient flow. This person should be able to easily relate to, and work with, a variety of skill sets.

4. An ideal partnership should continue throughout the build and for months following the HOPD’s opening. In addition to assessing a center’s readiness prior to completion, an ASC expert can help ensure the correct processes are in place so that workflows will run smoothly going forward. Once your HOPD is open, an ASC expert can assess ongoing operations, including reviewing inventory management and even helping staff to prepare for upcoming accreditation surveys.

When selecting an ASC operations expert to help with your new HOPD build, do your homework and ask around. Because with everything in life, all experts are not equal. However, with the right partner in place, long-term success is much easier to achieve. Want to learn more? Contact me at to learn how SourceMed ASC Advisory Services can help.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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