For ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) that focus on providing same-day outpatient surgical care, the patient experience is one of the top factors that can make or break the facility. A positive experience increases referrals and builds patient loyalty. 

Cultivating a positive experience can also help ASCs fully capitalize on growth opportunities as a result of general increases in patient demand for their services. 

A growing number of patients are drawn to ASCs because they provide a more personalized experience than larger hospitals, while providing the same—or better—quality of care. In addition, healthcare consumers generally have reported that they are less comfortable returning to hospitals since the pandemic, which is also driving more business to ASCs. Many procedures once performed in hospital outpatient surgery departments (HOSDs) have moved to ambulatory surgery centers, with the HOSD share of the total ambulatory surgery market dropping from nearly 60% to 40%.

“The ASC is often more intimate than the hospital, giving patients a greater sense of personalized care and contact with their care team.”  – McKinsey, September 2020 

Here are five ways your organization can improve the patient experience to increase patient loyalty and capitalize on growth opportunities:

1- Don’t let the staffing shortage impact your patient experience:  By 2025, McKinsey predicts that the healthcare sector could face a shortage of up to 450,000 nurses. Similarly, doctors and other clinical staff are leaving the industry in record numbers. ASCs are scrambling to recruit personnel to provide continued high-quality care for incoming patients. New research from Sage Growth Partners further emphasizes that point: 61% of hospital executives say that “staff recruitment and retention” is their number one strategic priority, far ahead of increasing revenue and reducing costs.

ASCs that enhance the patient experience, despite these escalating challenges, will find new ways to thrive. For example, leading ASCs will identify and deploy effective new recruitment methods, as well as digital solutions like concierge services that reduce administrative burdens and make your ASC more appealing to clinical staff.

2- Proactively address staff burnout: A recent study analyzing data from 3.9 million nurses revealed that of those who left their current employment (9.5% of respondents), 31.5% did so because of burnout.

For this reason, more facilities are seeing a need to increase workflow efficiencies and get the most out of their staff. In the Sage Growth Partners survey, 77% of respondents identify “workforce resiliency” as the top challenge for the next two years. As a result, 38% plan to invest in technology that supports workforce management, which can help to reduce burnout. 

Typically, clinician burnout occurs when staff are tasked with too much administrative work, taking away from actual patient care. In addition, long hours and stress from the pandemic are contributing factors. There are digital tools that can help to reduce the burden of manual entry and time-consuming outbound calls for patient reminders. These solutions keep staff, patients, and surgical teams connected with texts, notifications, and hand-off reminders, helping clinical teams to work more smoothly. 

3 – Improve patient education regarding the cost of procedures: More than 137 million Americans are burdened with medical debt. In many cases, medical debt is perpetuated by an overall lack of awareness around medical procedure costs and payments due: two-thirds of Americans report being worried about their medical bills. This underscores the strong need to make dramatic shifts in payment philosophies, and to educate patients about the financial ramifications of medical procedures, ideally before those procedures even occur. The challenge is for ASCs to embrace new approaches to patient billing and collections that free up limited staff to focus on patient interaction and personalized care instead of billing and collections. 

Offering a high level of customer service is crucial; our patient financial advocates help patients understand their bill in over 200 languages, provide financial counseling and easy ways to pay, including sensible payment plans and financing options. One Mnet Health’s Payments solution offers innovative ways for patients to manage their payments, such as text-to-pay and payment plans.

4- Offer a seamless pre-registration and check-in experience: ASCs are in a unique position to deliver cost-effective, high-quality care and positive patient experiences. Patients often remark that their experience with ASCs don’t feel clinical, but more like a spa. This begins by offering a seamless pre-registration and check-in experience, enabled by Medical Passport, our digital tool that automates pre-registration questions and flags patients with risk factors. Removing clinical staff from this process enables them to spend more time with patients, creating a better patient experience and a more satisfying experience for clinicians. 

5- Provide concierge-like services for patients and their families: For many surgeries, patients often come accompanied by a friend or family member as they are not allowed to drive themselves home. Innovative digital solutions like Engage provide automated communication to patients, their rides and clinical staff, enabling a smooth patient journey. Instead of relying on nursing staff to update family members and call for rides, automated messaging accomplishes the same task, helping to improve the workforce resiliency that so many facilities identify as a top priority.

The Winning Formula for Patient Experience 

For facilities seeking a comprehensive solution that improves the entire patient journey while lessening staff burnout, ONEflow combines the benefits of Medical Passport with Engage and Payments to ease the experience for all stakeholders, including patients, front-office staff, nurses, billing teams and physicians.  

By adding One Mnet Health to your team, ASCs can stay on top of their challenges and provide a winning patient experience every time. 

About One Mnet Health

One Mnet Health unites the clinical and financial patient experience. Our solutions help healthcare providers reach their full potential by improving patient engagement and increasing patient payments. We’re not just a partner; we act as an extension of your facility, giving your staff increased efficiency without any headache. For more information, visit