It used to be that surgery and hospitals were synonymous. Surgery of almost any kind had to be done in a hospital and often required an overnight stay. Today, thanks to innovations in technology and medicine, many procedures from ACL repair to cataract surgery and hernia repair can be safely performed at an ambulatory surgery center, also called an outpatient surgery center.
What is an ambulatory surgery center?
An ambulatory surgery center (ASC) is a type of health care facility with dedicated operating rooms providing patients with elective, non-urgent outpatient surgical services that don’t require a hospital stay. After surgery, patients are taken to a recovery area, but they don’t stay overnight or longer than 23 hours in an ASC. ASC surgeons have the same credentials as surgeons in hospitals, and an ASC is regulated by state and federal guidelines just like a hospital.
What types of operations are performed at an ASC?
What Not to Expect from an ASC
- Primary care services, wellness visits, check-ups, or standard office visits
- Urgent or emergency care
- Childbirth labor and delivery
How soon after surgery do patients go home?
Discharge from the surgery center depends on the type of surgery and the anesthesia used. Most patients go home within four hours after surgery. Patients undergoing outpatient surgery should have someone to drive them home. Patients continue recovery at home instead of a hospital stay.
What happens if paitents need to go to a hospital?
ASCs are required to have an effective means of transferring patients to a hospital for additional care in the event of an emergency.
The Polyclinic and Swedish Open New Ambulatory Surgery Center
In a joint venture, The Polyclinic and Swedish Medical Center opened the First Hill Surgery Center on November 7, 2016. The ASC is one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the country, giving surgeons access to a highly efficient environment to provide outstanding care.
- 36,000 square feet
- 12 operating rooms
- 32 post-operative rooms
- 75 surgery staff
What benefits does First Hill Surgery Center offer?
- Convenience. A streamlined workflow reduces downtime between surgeries and optimizes scheduling and appointments. Patients can be scheduled for surgery in one or two days instead of one or two weeks. Cases at First Hill Surgery Center are similar in acuity, or level of care, allowing nursing and anesthesia teams to staff all procedures, resulting in more efficient turnaround time.
- Comfort. ASCs are designed specifically for outpatient surgery. Unlike some ASCs, First Hill Surgery Center was designed by surgeons.
- Lower out-of-pocket costs. Patients typically pay less in facility fees for procedures performed in an ASC compared with procedures performed in a hospital. Unlike a hospital surgery center that handles many emergency and specialized cases, all of the surgeries at First Hill Surgery Center are elective and non-emergent; this results in less overhead and operating expenses. All of these efficiencies result in lower costs for both patients and payers as well as high patient satisfaction rates.
- Innovation and state-of-the-art technology. First Hill Surgery Center features 12 fully equipped operating rooms with state-of- the-art imaging and lighting systems as well as the region’s largest and most technically advanced sterile processing units to sterilize instruments and equipment before surgery.