From May 3-6, administrative and clinical professionals from ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) across the country will convene in Washington, D.C. for ASCA 2017, the premier meeting for the ASC industry hosted by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA). ASCA is the national membership association that represents ASCs and provides advocacy and resources to assist ASCs in delivering high quality, cost-effective ambulatory surgery to all the patients they serve.
With over 2,000 expected attendees and more than 70 educational sessions, ASCA 2017 is the biggest ASC event of the year, and an opportunity to learn, network, and position your facility for continued success. (It’s also a great way for CASC credential holders to earn Administrator Education Units!)
We talked with Gina Throneberry, the Director of Education and Clinical Affairs for ASCA, to get an insider’s view of this year’s meeting, including can’t-miss sessions and tips for first-time attendees.
How have you evolved the event to meet the changing dynamics of the ASC industry?
The healthcare industry is constantly changing, and we’re currently facing significant shifts that are impacting ASCs from a clinical, financial and operational standpoint. So in addition to core educational topics, each year we make sure to tailor the programming to include sessions focused on of-the-moment issues and concerns that ASC professionals face today.
In response to attendee feedback, we’ve also incorporated more networking time, so that attendees can connect with other industry leaders to share experiences and best practices about how to succeed in today’s challenging environment.
What are the main themes we can expect to see at ASCA this year?
There are several themes that have remained industry “hot topics” over the last couple of years: regulatory, human resources, quality improvement and performance. This year there is also a focus on improving communication, both among health professionals that work in your ASC and with patients and family members. Several sessions will look at different thinking and communication styles, and identify techniques to tailor our engagement with others in order to increase patient satisfaction and enhance teamwork.
What are the can’t-miss sessions or activities?
There are so many! Some of the breakout sessions this year will be led by expert personnel from several federal agencies (CMS, FDA, DEA), and provide an amazing opportunity for attendees and ask questions regarding some of the major issues they are facing within the ASC industry and get insight directly from officials at the forefront.
Since this year’s event is happening in Washington, DC, we’ve scheduled it to coincide with National Advocacy Day, so attendees can sign up for Capitol Hill visits and have the opportunity to meet and speak with members of Congress and their staff.
Who should attend ASCA 2017 and why (what will they get out of it)?
Everyone who works in or with an ASC! This meeting is on pace to be the largest ASC meeting of the year, and all who participate will have extensive opportunities to network with colleagues, get critical updates on ASC regulatory policy and visit the largest ASC-specific exhibit hall of the year. This year we’ve made an effort to include more sessions that are designed to help physicians, especially medical directors, learn more about operating and preparing ASCs for the future, as well as expanding their leadership role within the facility.
What tips would you give for first-time attendees?
Plan your schedule carefully to make the most of as many of the opportunities available at this meeting as possible. Be sure to attend the Friday night social event and use all of the networking opportunities on the schedule to make new connections and reconnect with those you already know. Allow plenty of time to visit the exhibit hall. Ask questions, get involved in the discussions and consider signing up by Friday, April 14, to be involved in the National Advocacy events taking place this year.
If you’re going to the conference, be sure to visit SourceMed at booth #501 in the Exhibit Hall to enter daily giveaways for great prizes and to learn about our end-to-end solutions for ASCs. And don’t miss the popular ASC Leadership 101 and 201 sessions on Friday, May 5th, led by our Chief Nursing Officer Ann Geier, MS, RN, CNOR, CASC.