One of many trends emerging in healthcare today is an increasing preference among consumers for convenience – in addition to care that is both competent and affordable. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) provide an efficient and convenient alternative to a hospital stay for many patients and give health professionals more flexibility as well. And as the number of procedures that can be done in an ASC expands, so does consumer demand, underscoring how important it is for health systems to develop robust ambulatory platforms.

“Healthcare is moving toward an environment of empowered patients,” says Thomas Crossen, chief development officer at Regent Surgical Health. “Faced with rising costs for health insurance premiums and co-pays, patients are choosing more efficient options and enjoying the convenience that often comes with them. This is especially true when it comes to surgery in an ASC versus a hospital, but other examples include urgent care centers, retail clinics, and even telemedicine. These options offer services on demand, and the ‘one-stop shopping’ experience that today’s consumers expect.”

The implications of this trend are another reinforcement for the need for health systems to move away from fee-for-service models toward value-based care. Crossen predicts a continuing migration of services to out-patient facilities as progressive health systems develop ambulatory strategies to evolve from the outdated “mother ship” models toward interconnected ambulatory care platforms that enable them to deliver care more cost-effectively and serve the community well at the same time.

For ASC leaders, Crossen says, this trend will mean continuing to transition new surgical specialties to the ASC, such as gynecology and orthopedics, and also extending relationships to offer related services

Is your health system prepared for one-stop shopping? Download our free trends guide here.