Building a Surgery Center: What Are the Things You Need?

By  //  November 19, 2021

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Surgery centers are now commonplace in communities around the country. More and more patients are choosing to have surgery done on an outpatient basis, which can be a cost-effective option for both providers and patients.

Because of the increase in surgery requests, building surgery centers are in demand and providers are striving for higher quality care at lower costs. Because of this, it’s important to know what you need to build a surgery center.

Surgery centers typically offer a spectrum of surgeries that range from outpatient procedures to more serious, inpatient operations.

According to the American Surgery Center Association, there are about 5,000 surgery centers across the country and each can be very different. For instance, they come in all shapes and sizes with some specializing in certain types of procedures or particular populations.

What goes into building a surgical center?

In order to build a surgery center, you need more than just a building that is equipped with the right tools and medical devices. A surgery center needs to get its accreditation from an outside agency, prepare licenses, invest in equipment and staff, etc.

It can be a bit overwhelming, and many business owners probably don’t know where to start so large companies like HeartlandMedical offer most of the services you need. Here you can find laboratory equipment, maintenance, and tools to help you get started.

Depending on the type of facility and equipment, as well as brands you want to use, make sure to leave extra funds for unexpected costs.  

Looking for the perfect location

One of the first things you need to do when you plan on building a surgery center is to find the perfect location. There are many factors that go into this such as location, size, zoning, and parking.

For instance, if your area doesn’t have an accessible public transportation system then it might be harder for patients with mobility issues or those without a car to come to your surgery center. In addition, it’s important for surgery centers to have sufficient parking- not only for the patients but also for facility staff and medical equipment suppliers.

Make sure zoning laws allow surgery center operations

In addition, you need to make sure that the area where you want to build your surgery center is zoned appropriately. Zoning laws vary from state to state, so you want to make sure that zoning is in place for your chosen location. It might take some research, but it’s better to be aware of these ahead of time rather than waiting until construction has begun and had issues arise with local government officials.

Have a plan before getting started

In order to build a surgery center, you need to have a plan from start to finish. Investing in a construction team can help make this process as simple as possible. Make sure you stick with the plan and remember that any changes made along the way will affect your budget and timeline. For instance, simply choosing different flooring could alter your timeline and you’ll need to adjust your schedule for construction accordingly.

Building a surgery center is not something that should be taken lightly. Having the right infrastructure in place before opening will make things go much more smoothly and it’s always beneficial to get things done right (not over) from the start! 

Choose the right type of medical facility for your area

Different areas will have different needs when it comes to the makeup of their medical facilities. Make sure to consider the population, weather, local attractions, and more when you’re looking for potential locations. Once you have a location you’re interested in, go there on different days of the week at different times to check out traffic patterns, and other conditions that will impact your business operations.

Qualified staff will ensure sustainability

In addition to good doctors, you need medical staff as well as administrators and financial experts among others. You can look at their resumes and qualifications but also ask for references from their previous employers so that you can get real feedback from those who have worked with them directly. Over time hiring the ‘rock-stars in the industry will help boost your business even further, like the giants in the industry already do.

Make sure you know the qualifications of every single person working for your surgery center. They need to be qualified, organized, experienced and committed in order to make sure that your surgery center will stay afloat financially and patient-wise.

The right equipment makes all the difference

Believe it or not, this can vary from facility to facility and the specific surgeries that you offer. For instance, if you’re set up to do cardiac surgery then you’ll need state-of-the-art equipment, including an operating room. Keep in mind that all of your equipment needs will depend on which surgeries you offer. The last thing you want is to invest in equipment for one type of surgery and then find out later that your focus is something different.

You might also need other types of instruments such as scalpels, clamps, forceps, and so on. Again, the type and quality of these are going to depend on what types of surgeries are taking place. If you only offer one type of surgery it will be easier, but that’s not often the case.

If your operations are going to be running a lot then you might need a heat recovery system as well as air handling equipment for cleanliness and efficiency. In addition, all of your instruments should be able to withstand high temperatures since they’re going to be exposed to heat and sterilizers.

Without this, your surgery center is simply not going to be able to compete in the market. Furthermore, make sure that your equipment is updated and well-maintained by qualified personnel (surgeons usually offer this service for extra income). You wouldn’t want someone with poor qualifications or outdated equipment touching your patients!

Once you have everything in place get proper accreditation

This is one of the most essential parts of building a surgery center. You’ll need to make sure that you are fully accredited by an outside agency, such as ACHC or AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities). Since the government is not involved in accrediting surgery centers then you will need to seek out an outside entity that is.

Even if you’re not currently accredited, but plan on pursuing accreditation in the future, it’s a good idea to keep everything up-to-date and ready for inspection. This means keeping things clean and sterilized at all times (even when there aren’t any surgeries scheduled) and having all of the equipment necessary for proper accreditation.

Building a surgery center is more than just finding the right location and equipment. To be successful, you need to make sure that your staff is qualified and committed, keep up-to-date with any required state or federal regulations, and invest in appropriate medical instruments for surgeries.

Of course, none of this will guarantee success on its own but it’s an important step towards building a sustainable business.