Both the American Medical Association and The Joint Commission consider red blood cell transfusion to be among the five most overused procedures, yet it remains one of the most commonly performed medical interventions in U.S. hospitals today. Vague clinical guidelines and long-held norms have created wide variation in the use of transfusion, but many administrators and clinicians are now realizing that reducing transfusion rates with evidence-based patient blood management programs can provide significant clinical and economic benefits.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of trust and confidence in the operating room when so much is on the line. The surgeon needs to know that every member of the OR team is experienced and reliable. This is especially true of the surgical assistant, who serves as an extension of the physician before, during, and after the procedure. In addition to providing exceptional clinical skills, a valuable surgical assistant (SA) understands the surgeon’s preferences and enables a rhythm and a shorthand that promote successful patient outcomes and surgeon satisfaction.
This weekend is Mother’s Day. The women who nurtured our young selves also inspired us to dream of who we could become. Many of us grew up witnessing these special women diligently pursuing excellence in scientific or health-related careers, and we chose to follow similar paths. Here are a few tributes to the mothers behind our SpecialtyCare family. We encourage you to take a few minutes to remember the women whose love and inspiration made a difference in your life.
In the original Star Wars movie, we cheered as the Rebel Alliance strike teams zipped through the trenches of the Death Star to hit a tiny target and win a great victory. (Yes, today is Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you!) Laparoscopic surgeons use similar tactics as they navigate narrow openings in tightly focused procedures to help patients achieve big improvements. As demand for such services continues to increase and your hospital grows its laparoscopic services, you’ll need a minimally invasive surgical support (MISS) program you can rely on. Our latest guide, The True Value of a Minimally Invasive Partner in Your OR, will help you navigate the process of providing a strong, integrated partner for your surgeons and OR teams.
Sometimes a few fundamental changes can breathe new life into an existing process and, as a result, enhance the performance of your surgeons and staff. Even if your routine is working relatively well, service line changes in your operating room can achieve improved results, such as higher levels of surgeon satisfaction and patient care quality, both of which can generate greater value for your organization and your patients. But any changes in and around the surgical suite need surgeon support to optimize success. Here are six guidelines to help engage surgeons as a first step toward project planning and improved performance.
Perfusion is an integral part of your hospital’s cardiovascular care program, but the overhead costs and administrative burden of maintaining and managing a team of reliable perfusionists with advanced skills can pose challenges for program administrators. It can be easy, however, to overlook both the indirect costs and benefits of clinical services. So, whether your perfusion is handled in-house or outsourced, we’ve developed a new guide, The Real Spend of Your Perfusion Program: Twelve Tips to Discover the True Value, to help you evaluate your program and any changes that you might be considering.
We all want the best quality for the best value, but it’s often difficult to evaluate our options accordingly. Hospitals that are exploring outsourced intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) options obviously want to know what they’re paying, which can be difficult when different vendors present different pricing models and different services. It can be like comparing apples to oranges to strawberries. They’re all fruit, but clearly not the same. Here are some quick tips for evaluating outsourced IONM services, taken from our new guide, The Real Spend of Your IONM Program: Eight Tips to Discover the True Value.
A complex system offers a lot of places to hide bad behavior. Medicare and Medicaid—programs at the heart of the current healthcare debate—are particularly vulnerable to violations of Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the False Claims Act. Nearly every day, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issues details of individuals and hospitals being charged or convicted of healthcare fraud and abuse. Financial penalties and the possibility of imprisonment aside, damning headlines can destroy the bottom line and reputation of even the most respected providers. Compliance violations drive up healthcare costs and compromise patients who are overcharged or subjected to unnecessary tests and treatments.
Changes in reimbursement models are driving changes in operations, including data collection and reporting. Providers are being encouraged and incentivized to implement value-based care (VBC) that emphasizes cost savings and quality outcomes instead of the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement model that pays according to the number of procedures performed. The idea is that when hospitals have financial incentives to be accountable for patient outcomes, then the comprehensive focus on quality will result in overall lower costs. Transitioning from FFS to VBC may be especially difficult for ORs with their high costs of procedures, but several strategies can help clear the path to progress.
On October 26, 2016, SpecialtyCare acquired Sentient, a highly regarded intraoperative neuromonitoring provider. We’re thrilled to welcome the people of Sentient to our team. We believe we’ll be a great fit together, both clinically and culturally. Combining our talent and experience will enhance our collective strengths and create new opportunities to advance patient care and drive clinical quality, which reduce costs for our patients and customers.