Ambulatory Surgery Center Design: Development and Planning


During the pre-development process of an ambulatory surgery center design, common mistakes are often made that may negatively affect the purpose and viability of the center. Once the center is in operation, it can be nearly impossible to reverse the effects of these errors – and as a result, the entire lifespan of the design will be negatively impacted.

These faults could be avoided if thorough research is performed and if competent professionals are available to assist the designers and architects in meeting their goals. The following, if executed and performed prior to the development phase, will augment the true viability of any ambulatory surgery center design and project.

Comprehensive Business Plan Development

Ensuring the thorough progression of a business plan is the first step in the successful development of all types of establishments, including an ambulatory surgery center. The business plan, therefore, is the foundation for such a project.

The business plan should include the following:

  • Micro and macro factors that will give a good indication of the viability and the best possible manner in which to structure the planned venture
  • Detailed financial data
  • Operational and legal structure of the planned venture

Joint Ownership

Successfully concluding the joint ownership arrangements with strategic partners prior to the development of an ambulatory surgery center is the one factor that most contributes to the long-term success. Physicians and hospitals solely own most of the surgery centers, but the ever-changing dynamics of the healthcare industry are busy lending itself to provider alignments.

Overbuilding Phenomena

The real key is to build a quality care facility that will meet the anticipated volumes without adding unnecessary expenses, such as overbuilding. This will ensure that the fixed costs will be minimized, which will give the healthcare facility a much greater chance of meeting its budgetary and financial goals.

Legal and Regulatory Hurdles

The healthcare industry is highly regulated, and it requires expertise in securities, tax, administrative law issues, and partnership/corporate arrangements. Many legal and regulatory roadblocks need to be navigated to ensure the successful consummation of an ambulatory surgery center design and project.

Reference: Zasa, Joseph JD. CRITICAL STEPS BEFORE DEVELOPING AN AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTER Managing Partner, ASD Management Retrieved December, 2011, from

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