A Brief History of Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC)
Ambulatory Surgical Centers, like St. Cloud Surgical Center, started their roots in the 1960s and have seen immense growth throughout the last 50 years and counting. Having celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2022, we are honored to have been a part of this community since the early days. As the second surgical center in the country, it is safe to say that St. Cloud Surgical Center and the late Dr. Joseph Belshe have left their mark on the world of ASCs.
While going to an ASC vs. a traditional hospital for your next procedure may be relatively new, the concept is not. And through years of research, paired with technological advancements, it is just as safe and effective to receive care at a same-day surgery center as a hospital, not to mention often more affordable.
The ASC model has grown from an idea to a flourishing business model, providing patients with a mission to provide quality, safe, and efficient patient care. Take a trip down memory lane with us as we dive deeper into the world of ASCs from inception to the present day.
The ASC Community from Inception to Present Day
A timeline from www.ascassociation.org/50yearsofascs/timeline.
1960s – Healthcare professionals and government officials begin calling for affordable, accessible, quality outpatient surgery alternatives.
1966-1967 – Facilities dedicated to providing ambulatory surgery care open in conjunction with hospitals in California and Washington, DC.
1968 – Wallace Reed, MD, and John Ford, MD, develop objectives and commit their idea for a freestanding ambulatory surgery facility to paper for the first time. They begin collecting endorsements from governmental bodies and members of the healthcare community to obtain financing for the project.
1970 – The first ASC opens for business on February 12. By the summer, 225 surgeons working in that ASC have the support of more than 40 insurers.
Early 1970s – St. Cloud Surgical Center is the 2nd surgical center in the country, opening its doors in 1972—a handful of other ASC’s opened throughout the United States thereafter.
1971 – The American Medical Association (AMA) adopts a resolution endorsing the concept of outpatient surgery under general and local anesthesia for selected procedures and selected patients.
1973 – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) established some of the first standards for the ASC community when it released “Guidelines for Ambulatory Surgical Facilities,” a list of nine criteria approved by the ASA House of Delegates.
1975 – Rapid growth—A total of 42 surgery centers were in operation in the US by 1975.
1976 – An additional 25 facilities open.
1979 – The ASC community continues to grow as the number of ASCs reaches triple digits.
1982 – Medicare approves payment to ASCs for approximately 200 procedures.
1987 – Medicare expands its list of covered procedures in ASCs to 1,535 procedures.
1988 – The number of ASCs in the United States reaches 1,000.
1994 – Beth Derby is elected the first woman president of the Federated Ambulatory Surgery Association (FASA) and becomes the first nurse to serve in this capacity.
1995 – ASCs go international with the formation of the International Association for Ambulatory Surgery (IAAS).
1997 – FASA moves to expand services to its members and demonstrate the quality provided in ASCs by offering an industry-wide Outcomes Monitoring Project.
2004 – More than 4,000 ASCs in the US perform eight million surgeries annually.
2006 – The ASC community establishes the ASC Quality Collaboration to develop ASC quality measures, publicly report data, and support high-quality care in ASCs.
2010 – The number of ASCs exceeds 5,000.
2011 – More than 5,300 ASCs in the United States perform 23 million surgeries annually.
2015 – The number of ASCs grows to 5,400.
2020 – On January 1, CMS finalizes the addition of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and six new cardiac codes to the ASC-payable list.
A lot can happen in 50 years, and we are proud to say we’ve been there since the beginning, providing innovative, top-of-the-line care to patients in Central Minnesota. If you are considering our facility for your next surgery and have questions, please contact us today to discuss your options. We would appreciate the opportunity to care for you.
The Ins and Outs of Patient Care with Dr. Siegfried Feierabend
“You need surgery.”
No matter the nature, hearing those three words can cause your heart to beat faster. Lucky for you, if you’re coming to St. Cloud Surgical Center, we know a thing or two about surgery. We have the finest staff, who will make you feel cool, calm, and collected throughout the process. One doctor, in particular, views patient comfortability as the most important piece of surgery. His name is Dr. Siegfried Feierabend, better known as Dr. Sig, and we recently sat down with him to discuss the ins and outs of the patient’s experience.
As an orthopedic surgeon at St. Cloud Surgical Center, Dr. Sig has the unique opportunity to help patients with many ailments. Most of the procedures he performs here revolve around joint replacements of the hip and knee. Still, he’s been able to work on traumas like broken bones and other common elective surgeries such as rotator cuff, ACL, and meniscus procedures. The ability to understand all these procedures is no small feat, and while it’s something Dr. Sig is proud of, he understands that the patient’s experience must be wrapped into all the technical aspects.
You see, Dr. Sig didn’t always dream about becoming a surgeon. He was set on being an electrical engineer when he went off to college, but life had other plans. He found his love for the medical world and explored many areas, including general practice. It was then that he discovered his love for the patient experience. Ultimately, he combined mechanics and patient care as an orthopedic surgeon.
So, how exactly does patient care come into play during surgery? Let us tell you!
Quality patient care starts at the beginning. To prep you for surgery, Dr. Sig and his team will develop a course of action customized to you. You will receive all the education, comfort, and encouragement needed to get to surgery day and take care of yourself once you are home.
At St. Cloud Surgical Center, we have put together a step-by-step guide given to all Joint Replacement patients before their surgery begins. To make it even easier for you, after years of patient recommendations, we’ve put it all together in a 20-minute video. You’ll receive this before your surgery and have the opportunity to ask our nurses any questions you may have after reading/watching the provided materials.
Preparing for surgery can feel overwhelming or scary if you don’t know what to expect. You may have unanswered questions and worries that make you feel this way. Knowing what to expect will help you feel less nervous and more in control. On the day of surgery, you will check in and meet the rest of your care team. By now, you know your surgeon well, but on this day, you’ll get to experience care from the many others who make our world go round. You’ll complete all the necessary steps for pre-op with your nurse and even discuss the plan with your anesthesiologist.
Not only do we have an excellent team that understands the importance of patient care, but we also know the facility is part of the experience. In 2020, we began our remodeling of the surgery area, which has aided in our patient’s overall satisfaction. With modern patient rooms, better recovery areas, and a comfortable waiting area for your support person, the experience at St. Cloud Surgical Center is top-notch.
As a same-day surgery center, meaning you are discharged the day of, it is crucial that we set our patients up for success. Prior to surgery, you will receive a checklist of all the things you need at home and contact information for parties that can help you should you run into issues. Post-surgery, our nurses, who are specially trained in processes specific to joint replacements, will help you get moving again. And once you leave, our team will follow up with you to ensure you are making progress and nothing alarming is happening. Yes, even when you’re gone, we are thinking about you!
For Dr. Sig, successful surgery outcomes rely heavily on the patient’s experience. While rehabilitation is crucial for many of the surgeries he performs, the moments leading up to surgery where you’re interacting with your patient are just as important. At St. Cloud Surgical Center, we utilize a team approach. Our physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses, and support team work together to ensure a seamless transition from admission to discharge. You will always be at the center of your surgical game plan.
If you are considering surgery with one of our physicians, please contact us today to discuss your options. We would appreciate the opportunity to care for you.
PATIENT TESTIMONIAL: Jan S. on Total Knee Replacements with the VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution
There is nothing better than hearing a patient’s success story. Watching their life transform because of our work at St. Cloud Surgical Center is genuinely humbling. Many of us have dedicated our lives to achieving the highest quality patient outcomes, including Dr. Eric Green, our resident VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution expert. We recently sat down with one of his patients to hear about her total knee replacement experience at our center.
SCSC: Hi, Jan. Thanks for sitting down with us today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to St. Cloud Surgical Center?
JAN: Hi, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here and talk about my experience. My name is Jan, and I am a St. Cloud, Minnesota, local. My husband and I have lived here for many years. I came to St. Cloud Surgical Center in November of 2021 for a total knee replacement under the care of Dr. Eric Green. After 30 years of knee pain and losing my ability to walk comfortably, I knew it was time to undergo surgery. While researching, I came across Dr. Green and the VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution. We met, and the connection was great right off the bat. After our initial meeting, we discussed a total knee replacement and moved forward with a surgery plan.
SCSC: That’s great! Dr. Green is an excellent surgeon. Can you share more about your experience and why you needed a total knee replacement?
JAN: Well, 30 years ago, I had an injury that completely blew out my ACL, and at that time, they just scraped it away vs. fixing the issue. So, I was living without an ACL for many years. This led to extreme instability and arthritis that kept growing. Everyone told me to put off a knee replacement as long as possible, so I did. I believe this was my time, but I wish I had looked into it sooner. I went into the experience with pretty low expectations. I thought if I could reduce my pain to 40%, well, then that would be amazing. I had no idea I would walk out of here pain-free!
SCSC: Pain-free? Wow, that’s amazing. So, would you say that your life has changed pretty dramatically since your surgery?
JAN Oh, absolutely. I feel amazing now. I really cannot even begin to tell you the difference. Since my surgery, I have dropped 65 pounds simply because I can move again. I am riding a bike, kayaking, and taking up golf. All things I never imagined doing in my life again, but here I am. And to think, I simply wanted to walk across my yard with no pain.
SCSC: That’s incredible. We’re so happy for you. Why do you think your pain improved so drastically?
JAN: I think the use of robotics played a role in my pain reduction and recovery. When I was doing research about the VELYS™ program and how precise it can be, I was amazed. By putting in my exact measurements, Dr. Green and his team were able to make a knee that was specific to me. The precision no doubt lessened my pain and shortened my rehabilitation period. It might not be like this for everyone, but I completed my physical therapy in less than two months. I was able to pass the bend test quickly, and now I use my knee every day so it can stay in good shape.
SCSC: Speaking of Dr. Green, how was he during the process?
JAN: He was remarkable. He was very understanding and patient with me. Having had a questionable experience in the past, given my ACL surgery, I was a bit skeptical. He listened to my concerns and eased my worries. Ultimately, he is learning these new techniques to bring less pain and faster healing to his patients. It takes a wonderful surgeon to care that much. When I look back now, I remember him kind of laughing – in a kind way – when I mentioned my goal of walking across my yard. He clearly knew I would be able to do so much more.
SCSC: We are fortunate to have Dr. Green on our team. Would you like to share anything else about your experience?
JAN: I think it is just incredible to realize that a total knee replacement can be done in a setting like this allowing you to leave the same day. Had I known that earlier, I may have been pain free a long time ago.
SCSC: It is pretty remarkable, isn’t it? Okay, last question. Would you recommend the same surgery and/or St. Cloud Surgical Center to a friend?
JAN: Wholeheartedly. Yes, I would recommend this procedure and facility to anyone who would listen. And I would tell them not to wait! If you have knee pain and it’s impairing your movement or lifestyle, just get it done. You will not regret it.
SCSC: Thank you, Jan, for all of your kind words. On behalf of everyone at St. Cloud Surgical Center, we are thrilled to hear about your success and that you are back to living the life you deserve!
If you are experiencing knee pain like Jan, don’t wait to contact one of our experienced surgeons. The solution you have been waiting for could be right around the corner. Contact us today for more information on joint replacements at St. Cloud Surgical Center.
The ABCs of Same-Day Surgery
Surgical advancements and high-deductible health insurance plans influence patients to choose outpatient surgical centers like St. Cloud Surgical Center now more than ever.
St. Cloud Surgical Center is continually voted among the top ambulatory surgery centers in the nation. In 2023, we were voted the top ASC in Minnesota. With a long history of performing same-day surgeries for patients in Central Minnesota and beyond, we have garnered a reputation for success. With many options available to patients, deciding where to receive your surgery can be hard, especially if same-day surgery is a new concept to you.
This blog will cover the simple ABCs of same-day surgery to help you determine if we are the right fit and calm any nerves you might have.
A is for Ambulatory
The definition of ambulatory means “the ability to walk,” and that is exactly what you will do…right out our doors post-surgery. Now, you may require some help at home and physical therapy afterward, but you will not be admitted for a hospital stay, saving you time and money. If this sounds appealing, now might be the time to research the specialties who operate in our facility.
Our goal at St. Cloud Surgical Center is to have every patient leave our facility with a smile and hope for a strong, healthy future all in one day.
B is for Being Prepared
It is essential to be prepared for your surgery, especially if same-day surgery is new to you. Every surgery poses a potential risk. Preparing ahead of time can help you achieve the best results. Follow the tips below, and you will be on your way to a safe, successful same-day surgery.
- Be confident in your surgeon and the plan ahead. Research and ask questions. Nothing is off the table.
- Be in good health. This may mean quitting bad habits before surgery. Your care team will help you.
- Be up to date on day-of instructions. We will give you plenty of information, which will sometimes be overwhelming. If you need help understanding something about your surgery, please ask.
C is for Common Practice
With nearly two-thirds of today’s surgeries performed at facilities like St. Cloud Surgical Center, same-day surgery is a common practice in the United States and worldwide. It is normal to be worried about all that is to come with surgery but trust that you are in good hands. If you are nervous, maybe words from our past patients can help.
“I am still in awe about the care I received. Everyone at St. Cloud Surgical Center is thorough, friendly, and caring.” – Tom S. / Joint Patient
“The entire staff was very well organized, prepared, and genuinely concerned for the well-being of my daughter. I was also extremely impressed when I received an unsolicited follow-up call from a recovery nurse to check in on how she was doing. We feel fortunate to have such a top-notch facility in our community.” – Daryl S. / Father of Orthopedic Patient
“What I can do with this knee now is phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier with my surgery. Thank you, Dr. Green and St. Cloud Surgical Center.” – Mary R. / Joint Patient
To learn more about the differences and similarities between Ambulatory Surgery Centers and traditional hospitals, read our blog.
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