Hiring the right people, that will be entrusted to carry out the day to day operations of your surgical facility, is the most critical decision you may make. Universal Healthcare Consulting has worked with hundreds of facilities starting from the initial planning phase and what we have found is that those facilities that have a “point person” are much more efficient in all phases of the planning, pre-opening, and opening phases.
Employee costs, salaries, and benefits can be one of the largest expenses you will incur. Capital does need to be allocated for employee salaries from the planning phase on, but you do not need to hire a full staff immediately.
It’s beneficial that your first hire is someone with knowledge and experience in an outpatient surgical facility. This person does not have to be an RN, demanding an RN salary. What we have found is a medical assistant or surgical tech is best suited to provide the needed assistance in setting up the surgical suite. A knowledgeable surgical tech or medical assistant can provide needed continuity of the level of services, providing the oversight to ensure all areas of accreditation and compliance are met.
Once the facility is at the point of ordering equipment and supplies and setting up the office, it is usually time to start identifying the rest of the staff that you will need. The staffing requirements for a surgical case are an anesthesia provider, RN, circulator, and a scrub. The anesthesia provider can be an MD or CRNA. The patient is usually recovered by an RN but they can also be recovered by the anesthesia provider. An RN is not required to be in the case if the surgeon and anesthesia provider both have current ACLS. It also is not required to have both a circulator and a scrub, many times these functions are performed by one person. Many times the anesthesia provider and RN are contracted for services on a case by case basis. Depending, they sometimes bill for services independent from the surgery fee.
It is beneficial to have the MA or ST as an employee to carry out the final functions of breaking down the OR, implementing sterilization and infection control practices, restocking supplies, and preparing for the next case.