An ambulatory center is a health care facility that that offers diagnostic, consultation, as well as preventive procedures, to outpatients, using the latest medical technology. The center can also provide treatment and medical examinations for patients who do not have to stay in the center for more than 24 hours. Many ambulatory centers are quite complicated, though they can support patients through applying different types of procedures effectively. Stakeholders are usually concerned about the facility’s capacity to meet the staff and community needs, thus, the process should be capable of recognizing what every patient requires, and match with what the center can offer.
An ambulatory center can be situated either in hospitals, clinics, non-medical institutions, or in the doctor’s surgery area. This is because the center is usually responsible for handling emergency cases, in addition to preventing the patients from being admitted in hospitals. The main purpose of having an ambulatory center is to reduce the costs of admission to hospitals. Advance in technology in medicine has enabled some procedures, such as tests and treatments, as well as surgeries, to be carried out to outpatients without admission. The center also saves the patients’ time, which could have been wasted while in the hospital.
The procedure for identifying needs should incorporate the concept of operations and direction of control. The center should develop cordial relationship with the surrounding community in order to understand what the community requires most. This would also assist in recruiting competent employees, who could understand the patient needs effectively. The center should have enough staff in order to satisfy the needs of every patient. Staffing considerations include setting up training needs, maximizing productivity, and minimizing costs (Sachdev, 2014, p. 1367). The center should develop a multidisciplinary team, which consists of all professionals in the medical practice.
Minimizing staffing costs should be a priority of any administration in an attempt to expand or build new ambulatory centers. The ambulatory center is focused on developing a process that would guarantee all patients of their safety and recovery through follow-up and preventive care (Dlugacz, 2010). The center should consider infants, as well as patients who may be having chronic or asymptomatic conditions, so that they can be discharge immediately.
The procedure for undertaking a process in ambulatory care should also incorporate community needs. Researchers have proved that it is quite realistic and safe to serve the community through ambulatory practices. In addition, it could enable the medical professionals to offer the community both physical and psychological support. It would be futile to establish an ambulatory center where patients cannot access with ease. The location should be convenient to the members of the surrounding communities, who would benefit from reduced costs and timesaving.
Determining Needs that Should be Addressed
It is extremely essential to understand the patient needs in order to make appropriate plan for how to address their needs. An ambulatory center is patient-centered; hence, all medical professionals in the center should focus on making decisions that respect patients’ needs. Patient satisfaction rises when the caregiver instigates and maintain amiable relationship based on confidence and understanding. Patients belong to the surrounding community, thus, learning how the community behave, or undertake its social and economic activities, can help in making decisions on what to offer.
Needs are diverse, hence, the center should have a priority of needs that require immediate address. For instance, to perform specific patient care functions, patient care technicians are required to set up dialysis machine and treatment initiations while registered nurses carry out primary nurse responsibilities to patients (Cherry & Jacob, 2014, p. 371). Every organization has its unique culture that directs its operations. Organizational culture in the ambulatory center should be flexible enough to correspond with the community needs. Patients may feel that they have the rights to understand all procedures of their diagnosis, but fear interrupting the health care providers. Hence, it is the duty of the medical professionals to inform their patients of the process to reduce the anxiety.
Mobilizing available resources can assist in meeting most of the patient needs. By determining patient needs, ambulatory centers can avoid some expenses, and focus only on what the patients ask for. An ambulatory may not have adequate capital to invest on unnecessary machinery, thus, it is essential to capitalize on what would satisfy the patient needs. After carrying out the research on what the community requires, the relevant administration personnel can seek funds for government, or non-governmental organizations, to run the program.
Plan to Address Major Needs
An ambulatory center should have a laid-down plan on how to tackle the major requirements in order to satisfy the patient needs. The plan should indicate the name of the center and its address, in addition to the description of the ambulatory center’s purpose. An ambulatory center should be capable of offering as many services as possible in order to increase the patient satisfaction and promote improved access (Johnson & Borgos, 2012, p. 68). Identifying the chain of command in the center, especially during emergencies is critical in addressing the community needs and ensuring that leadership is maintained in key positions. This involves recognizing the titles of the personnel-in-charge during and after emergency. Alternative titles should also be offered in case the personnel responsible are not available.
Expense management is crucial in running an ambulatory center, as some medical practices, such as surgery, would require fixed costs in order to operate effectively and profitably. Expense management will assist in controlling staffing costs, in addition to ensuring that the staff is working effectively. Procedures and policies should be in place to guide on how the key professionals should report to work when the center is in operation, in addition to identifying alternative means by which the patients can be assisted in case of system failure.
An ambulatory center is capable of handling other needs that involve the community. The center should have a plan for handling external disasters. If a region has experienced earthquakes, or other disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, the management should be prepared on how to evacuate the victims. The facility can arrange for transportation and transfer of patients from the facility to other hospitals in case of special treatment. The management should ensure that information on all patients administered at the facility is collected during the external emergency. This information can be utilized in the future handling of patients who may experience such disasters.
Various ambulatory care centers have continued to emerge as the health care transforms from more expensive inpatient environment to less costly outpatient surroundings. This is the main aim of establishing an ambulatory center. An ambulatory center can assist the surrounding community to receive outpatient care without necessary spending a lot of time in the hospital. Such center should concentrate on determining what the patients require, so that it can make plans according to its available resources. Determining the needs can assist in recognizing the gaps that the health care providers can fill in. Involving the community is essential in making maximum use of resources, as well as saving on costs.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2014). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management.St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier.
Dlugacz, Y. D. (2013). Measuring health care: Using quality data for operational, financial, and clinical improvement. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.
Johnson, T. K., & Borgos, S. (2012). Evolve and integrate a new imperative for ambulatory care. Healthcare Financial Management, 66(4), 68-73.
Sachdev, G. (2014). Sustainable business models: Systematic approach toward successful ambulatory care pharmacy practice. American Journal Of Health-System Pharmacy, 71(16), 1366-1374. doi:10.2146/ajhp140078