The Swiss Army Knife Imaging Suite

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By Les Jebson, MHA, MBA, FACHE, FACMPE

There is little doubt that innovation in healthcare continues to be influenced immensely by direct advancements in imaging. Imaging innovations, coupled with incredible advancements in minimally invasive procedures, continue to drive inpatient care to the outpatient arena. Cataract surgeries, appendectomies, pulmonary procedures, and gastroenterological ERCPs are routinely outpatient procedures which were all at one time exclusive to the hospital.

Laparoscopy and interventional radiology are seasoned specialties in this movement. With inpatient admissions flat and declining nationally since 2008, there is a clear movement, driven by cost, quality, and innovation, to continue to push the envelope of outpatient care. The largest Medicare diagnosis-related group (DRG) for hospitals for the last decade has been major joint replacement, and with CMS’s recent announcements over reimbursements for joint replacement in the ambulatory surgery arena, I predict that up to 45% of all joint replacements performed in hospitals will move to the outpatient arena in the next decade.

As part of this movement, there will be a shift away from specialty specific operating rooms and intervention suites. Instead, I submit to you that we will see an expansion of comprehensive procedure suites, which I reference as ‘Swiss Army Knife’ suites. We are beginning to see these facilities being developed around the world as CT, MRI, interventional, and surgical meld into single facility locations.

The specific impetus behind this movement for these specialized suites varies but is influenced by my aforementioned comments and the large cost pressures on health systems, as well as labor shortages in nursing and radiology.

If you are interested in both learning more about and participating in an interactive presentation on the design, build, and staffing of integrated procedure suites, then I ask that you join me at the 2018 AHRA Annual Meeting in Orlando for my interactive session, “The Swiss Army Knife Procedure Suite” on Sunday, July 22 at 2:30 PM. And if you’ve got a coaching scenario you’d like me to use as an example, email me at les_jebson@yahoo.com. See you in Florida!


Les Jebson, MHA, MBA, FACHE, FACMPE is a director and lecturer at SIU Medicine in Springfield, IL. He can be reached at les_jebson@yahoo.com.

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