Increasingly, hospital executives are converting hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) to stand-alone ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) or forming joint venture ASCs with area physicians. And as they do, they need an HR solution tailored to the more specialized nature of ambulatory ventures. A new white paper from MedHQ suggests, in many cases, the best solution is an outsourced HR resource.
The white paper, titled “Optimize Performance by Rethinking Hospital HR for Ambulatory Ventures,” explores the efficiencies an outsourced HR resource can deliver in recruiting, hiring and managing employee relations in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) setting.
Outlining differences between hospital and ASC HR, the white paper cites specialization and speed as key drivers of ambulatory HR needs. “Everything is faster in an outpatient facility,” says Tom Jacobs, CEO of MedHQ. “The whole model is built around efficiency, throughput, and delivering quality care for less, so the support has to be that much quicker as well. For example, in a hospital it might be considered fast if adding a new person takes three months. In a surgery center, the turnaround needed might be three days.”
The white paper asserts that physician-owners and management companies leading today’s successful ASCs increasingly insist HR be assigned to an outsourced specialist, to ensure their facilities benefit from the depth and breadth of expertise of a team of career healthcare HR experts.
“You want everything in place when you start recruiting staff: from benefit programs, to hiring processes, to onboarding tools,” says Jacobs. “Everything will happen more effectively if those things are in place before you start bringing your team in.”
The types of employees that thrive in an ambulatory are different from a hospital: People who enjoy diversity of job duties and appreciate opportunities to be cross-trained are well-suited to an ambulatory facility. There is an attractive lifestyle benefit of working in an ASC as well: many ASCs operate on business-day hours and are closed on weekends. Jacobs says HR outsourcing firms understand these motivational nuances and have networks for connecting with suitable prospects.
In addition, firms like MedHQ have teams of HR professionals on staff to help ASCs expertly manage ongoing employee relations. “Your HR resource needs to be adept at handling the dynamics of employee relations,” Jacobs says. “Many firms are trying to automate and not have an actual HR person who’s part of service delivery. We find that lacking. It’s just not the same to read about how to handle an employee relations issue as it is to speak with an experienced professional.”
The continuing evolution of hospital services and procedures to outpatient settings creates a need for new HR strategies, to support the efficient management of resources and best practices. To read more about optimizing efficiencies by outsourcing ambulatory HR, download the new white paper here.