Shorter Wait Times – How ASCs Streamline the Patient Experience

Posted Apr 22, 2024 under:

ASCs Reforming Healthcare Through Shorter Wait Times

ASCs are setting a new standard in patient-centric healthcare delivery through specialized care, efficient scheduling, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

Shorter Wait Times, Better Outcomes

Explore how ASCs are transforming healthcare by streamlining patient experiences.

Welcome to The ASC Advantage by SCA Health. This brand-new series will explore the many benefits of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) in today’s healthcare landscape. In our first article, we’ll delve into one of the best advantages ASCs can offer patients: shorter wait times.

In today’s fast-paced world, patients seeking medical care often face frustration from long wait times and drawn-out appointments. These longer wait times are more than simply inconvenient; they can also lead to delayed diagnoses, compromised treatment outcomes, and increased healthcare disparities. Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) have emerged as a compelling solution to this challenge, offering streamlined experiences that prioritize shorter wait times and enhanced patient satisfaction.
So, how exactly do ASCs cut down on wait times to deliver a better patient experience? Let’s take a closer look:

Specialized, Focused Care

ASCs’ reduced wait times stem from their focus on a small number of procedures in a single setting. By specializing solely in elective outpatient procedures, centers can streamline their processes and resources, allowing physicians to deepen quality control and provide personalized care. This approach enables ASCs to handle a high volume of procedures within a short time frame, leading to increased productivity and, ultimately, to higher-quality care. This model closely aligns with the principles of value-based care, which prioritizes patient outcomes and experiences while managing costs.

Efficient Scheduling

Sophisticated scheduling systems also play a crucial role in minimizing patient wait times. These facilities ensure appointments run on time by carefully coordinating surgeon availability, operating room use, and patient flow. This efficiency also enables patients to schedule procedures sooner at an ASC than at a hospital, resulting in faster treatment. One study published in the American Journal of Surgery showed that procedure times were significantly shorter in freestanding ASCs than in hospital settings.

Finally, ASCs often have shorter operating room turnaround times than traditional hospitals. Due to streamlined processes and specialized staff, preparing an operating room for the next procedure takes far less time in an ASC. This efficiency allows physicians to treat more patients in the same amount of time, reducing overall wait times.

Continuous Improvement

ASCs regularly analyze data, seek patient feedback, and implement best practices to identify areas for improvement and further reduce wait times. They’re also subject to rigorous regulatory oversight. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia (DC) require ASCs to be licensed, while the remaining states have regulatory requirements such as Medicare certification or accreditation. According to the ASC Association, ASCs serving Medicare recipients must also comply with federal standards for patient safety and quality of care. Furthermore, many ASCs undergo voluntary accreditation by independent organizations. This typically involves meeting specific standards and engaging in continuous external benchmarking.

Physician independence and ownership in ASCs further contribute to this culture of continuous improvement. With better control over scheduling and the ability to lead quality improvement strategies, physician owners play a crucial role in minimizing procedure delays, ensuring efficient, high-quality care delivery, and reducing patient wait times. This culture of continuous improvement ensures that patients consistently receive high-quality care with minimal delays.


In this first installment of “The ASC Advantage,” we’ve examined how ASCs set a new standard for healthcare delivery by focusing on shorter wait times and streamlined patient experiences, aligning with a larger shift towards value-based care. As the demand for convenient and efficient healthcare grows, ASCs are well-positioned to meet these needs – making them an increasingly important player in the evolving healthcare landscape.


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