March 7, 2022

ASCs adopt ‘Super Saturday’ strategy to clear surgery backlogs

By: Tarsilla Moura

Editor's Note

Surgical backlog is still a challenge that many ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are currently working through. According to Becker’s ASC Review March 3, this backlog “could take years for some centers to recover from depending on the specialty and site of care” and has led some ASCs to adopt a “Super Saturday” scheduling strategy.

The strategy entails “implementing a special weekend block for high-volume surgeries” alongside a strictly volunteer-based staff. By opening their ORs on weekends, ASCs are increasing their scheduling flexibility, catching up with postponed procedures from earlier in the pandemic, and seeing an increase in job satisfaction out of their employees, who are happy with the more structured block and the opportunity to “take home additional income.”

The article stresses, however, that maintaining satisfaction and high engagement is dependent on not mandating that employees work the weekend blocks. Additionally, in order to maximize on the increased flexibility and see more productivity, ASCs should be selective with the surgeon team operating during those blocks. “The ideal candidate for an ASC would be a surgeon who knows how to expedite cases and is comfortable working out of two rooms,” the article suggests.


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