October 20, 2022

Session: ASC Leadership Roundtable Panel, Ask the Experts

Editor's Note

The last day of the OR Manager Conference saw perhaps its most inventive breakout session yet. The ambulatory surgery center (ASC) leadership roundtable panel led attendees through an education-filled hour marked by games, interaction, and trivia.

“Technology is the way of the future, it is here, and we have to embrace it,” said moderator Beverly Kirchner, MSN, RN, CNOR, CASC, chief compliance officer of SurgeryDirect LLC, as she explained the reason behind this session’s novel concept. Sprinkled throughout the activities, the panel—comprising Cindy Hess, MSN, RN, FNP-C, CNAMB, director of nursing at Northeast Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center; Fawn Esser-Lipp, MBA, BSN, CASC, CNOR, executive director at The Surgery Center LLC; and Tracy Hoeft-Hoffman, MBA, MSN, RN, CASC, administrator at Heartland Surgery Center—was able to share the resources they use to remain current and operationally compliant as well as the different strategies they employ to keep their staff engaged at their facilities.

The activities, powered by the game-based learning platform Kahoot!, were kicked off with some competition. With prizes on the line, the audience answered nine trivia-like questions about the state of the nursing workforce. Alongside the topic of staffing, the audience got a crash course on the history of nursing, changes in nursing education, regulatory compliance, and leadership.

The lessons and best practices included how to:

  • craft and support a positive work culture
  • know and maintain the appropriate resources to different situations
  • find accurate and reliable information
  • build and mentor teams
  • champion and support active engagement and continuing education
  • be visible, transparent, and open as a leader when communicating with staff.

The biggest takeaway, taught during and exemplified by the session, was how to leverage gamification. Defined as “the strategic attempt to enhance systems, services, organizations, and activities by creating similar experiences to those experienced when playing games in order to motivate and engage users,” the panel successfully made the case for using gamification as an effective learning tool.

“My staff loves games, and we use every excuse to have them,” said Hoeft-Hoffman as she explained the many ways the staff at Heartland Surgery Center have fun while learning. “If we have a survey coming up, what do we do? We bust out the CMS and AAAHC handbooks and play Jeopardy!”

It’s a simple but effective way to keep the staff educated, and most importantly, interested and passionate about the work. And through gamification, explained Hoeft-Hoffman, her staff get to learn about things to which they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed.

“The Price is Right is our go-to game when we have to brush up on finances,” she said. “It’s great because they get to find out about costs incurred at our ASC like, how much is it to keep the lights on?” It gives the staff a whole new appreciation for their workplace, she concluded.

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