Nashville’s Simplify ASC Focused on Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Our CEO, David Howerton, recently sat down with Tom Ballard of to chat about our company and EHR adoption at ASCs.

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Have you or a family member ever used an ambulatory surgery center (ASC)? Chances are the answer is “yes.” The 5,000 to 6,000 that exist in the U.S. are a cost-effective and convenient alternative when the procedure does not require a hospital stay.

Yet, during a recent interview with David Howerton, we learned that federal regulations do not yet mandate that ASCs, frequently referred to as outpatient centers, have to implement electronic health records (EHRs), also referred to as EMRs (electronic medical records). The result is the information about the procedure that you completed at the ASC cannot automatically be sent electronically to the referring physician.

I suspect you are like me and many others. We yearn for the time when all of our medical records are available in one electronic file. That’s where Simplify ASC, a company with offices in Nashville and Miami, is playing a big role.

“We’ve all heard about the $32 billion spent on electronic health records,” Howerton, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, says. “The outpatient surgery market was not impacted by this meaningful use requirement that was imposed on hospitals and physicians.”

As a result, he says that 70 to 80 percent of the ASCs are still running on paper, documenting all patient interactions as they have been handled for years. Yet, healthcare system cost drivers are pushing more and more procedures to the ASCs.

“They are doing more complicated procedures now like total joint replacements,” Howerton says.

With surgical procedures accounting for 30 percent of every healthcare claim dollar, bringing more efficiency to the capture and integration of patient data just makes sense.

“We have a proprietary solution,” Howerton says. Named the Simplify ASC EHR, it was developed based on collaborations with hundreds of surgery centers over a 10-year period. “In 2016 we took it out of another company where it was a product line and stood-up an entirely new business around it.”

Recognizing the resistance that frequently comes from physicians who don’t like EHRs, Howerton explains that the Simplify ASC approach provides both an efficient way to digitize the old paper records that ASCs have and also an easy-to-use tool for the surgeons.

More important, the new system is easily connected with any ASC’s billing system which is already digitized.

“Our system is the best offering in the market,” Howerton says, then offers a clear explanation for the claim. It starts with the difference between a physician’s office or hospital emergency room and an ASC.

“All of the widely used EHRs are very good but built for the longitudinal care of the patient,” Howerton says. “A person can present in a physician’s office for a vast array of problems that the doctor must address. Conversely, a surgery center knows why you are there.”

A visit to an ASC is likely a “one-off” occurrence, meaning it could be the only time the patient is treated at the center. Yet, specifics about that episode of care need to be documented in the patient’s EHR.

“We think it is important that ASCs are communicating information they capture back to the physician or hospital,” Howerton says. “It’s all about the patient, and we want to make it as easy as possible for providers to document encounters without disrupting their limited time with the patient.”

More important, while an EHR for ASCs is not yet mandated, he sees a clear movement toward that eventuality as a result of the increased emphasis on alignment of reimbursement for procedures with the resulting quality of care the patient receives.

Simplify ASC is privately-funded.

Improved client/server update capabilities included in Simplify ASC EHR 5.0 

With the release of Simplify ASC EHR version 5.0, it is now much easier and faster to install subsequent upgrades to both your server and client devices moving forward. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more or scheduling an upgrade for your center!

  • Upgrades can now be completed in an hour or less.
  • New Service Packs are installed to all workstations and tablets automatically via our brand new remote upgrade deployment process.
  • No need to involve IT for hot fixes or service pack deployment.
  • Reduce costs by limiting the amount of IT and staff resources required to complete the upgrade.
  • Flexibility to schedule multiple upgrades on the same day.

Simplify ASC Support Chat is Live!

In addition to our standard phone and email support channels, we now offer live online chat with our customer support team during standard support hours. Try it out for yourself at!

Customer Spotlight: Freedom Vision Surgery Center

We are excited to welcome the Freedom Vision Surgery Center in Encino, Ca. to our growing family of customers! Since opening in 1998, Freedom Vision Surgery Center has performed over 27,000 procedures, including more than 15,000 cataract operations, and is the leading single-specialty ophthalmology surgery center in the San Fernando Valley area.

As one of their CRNAs explained, “I had to work with some EMRs when I was in my residency. I couldn’t help but realize they were very difficult to use and took away from patient care. Without formal training, I was able to successfully document my very first case using Simplify ASC, it was so easy!  I’m already starting to think about ways we can further customize our forms to make us even more efficient.”

Congratulations to the Freedom Vision team on a successful Simplify ASC EHR implementation and we look forward to working with you in the years to come!

September Newsletter


We are excited to launch our customer newsletter in order to keep you updated on recent news and product updates from Simplify ASC!

In this issue:

  • Latest News from Simplify ASC
  • Product Updates
  • Did you know?
  • Partner Spotlight:  M*Modal
  • Simplify ASC Team Member Spotlight

SimplifyASC Launches New Website

Today Simplify ASC launched a new website.