From a healthcare perspective, the only thing we can be certain of in 2017 is that there will be uncertainty. For healthcare administrators, there is uncertainty around how to manage changes in provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI), and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Restructuring Medicare and Medicaid could have a significant impact on planning, implementation, and payments for providers. But, regardless of the new format, healthcare providers like SpecialtyCare will always have an obligation—both to their patients and their customers—to improve value by providing high-quality care while containing costs.
As I reflect on the past year, I’m reminded of the importance of leadership in organizations. While there is no one right way to lead, all effective leaders operate with clear values, authenticity, and integrity. In 2016, we launched a new reward and recognition program—SpecialtyCare Heroes. The program enables our staff members to nominate colleagues who have gone above and beyond in serving our patients, our customers, and our teammates. As I read through the nominations, I’m struck by the enormous dedication of our people, and I am truly inspired. The stories demonstrate a commitment to high performance, an attitude of caring, and a foundation of strong personal values. They reinforce one of the most enduring lessons I’ve learned about leadership over the years: Leaders can be found in all positions and at all levels of an organization.
It’s been said that “Everyone has a special talent, some are just flashier than others.” And so it is in healthcare. Behind every high-visibility physician and hands-on surgical team, there is a large group of people in back offices providing invaluable support. Everyone plays an important role—from human resources and training to accounting and scheduling. But today, as part of National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week, we proudly recognize our credentialing team at SpecialtyCare, and indeed in healthcare settings everywhere, for their contributions to quality patient care and safety.
The role of an expert IONM team is critical in the timely identification of adverse neurophysiologic changes and in promoting corrective action by the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Our research is based on clinical IONM data from SpecialtyCare’s Operative Procedural Registry. Taking advantage of big data—nearly 70,000 cases in this study—ensures that our conclusions are statistically significant, a vital aspect of evidence-based improvement in healthcare. It was an honor to present this study to such a prestigious group of surgeons at NASS and, in doing so, provide actionable information to help elevate the quality of care across the country.
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.
In August, a prolonged “no-name” storm deluged Louisiana, producing three times more rain than Hurricane Katrina. Lives were lost and the unprecedented flooding damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes and displaced thousands of people. As medical professionals, SpecialtyCare’s clinicians routinely step up when disaster strikes—we live and work in the communities we serve. But, stepping up can take different forms. In this week’s blog, we share a letter from a member of our intraoperative neuromonitoring group, who rallied the team to help the people of Louisiana.
The need for trust in healthcare is not limited to the clinical arena. Business practices matter, too. Wrongdoing on the business side often points to cultural shortcomings and a lack of integrity that can permeate the entire organization. As such, trust in a company’s underlying culture is as important as trust in its clinical expertise or the efficacy of its services.
Our intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) research studies show that IONM helps keep patients safe during surgery, decreases complications, and reduces costs associated with the use of analgesics, length of hospital stay, neurorehabilitation, and long-term chronic care. One such study, Neurologic Outcomes Following Differential Resolution of Neuromonitoring Alerts during Extradural Spine Surgery, examines the relationship between reversal of intraoperative neurophysiologic change and neurologic outcome following segmental spine surgery.
Building a highly talented clinical workforce is imperative for providing the best possible patient outcomes. We know, however, that the most passionate and effective healthcare professionals offer much more than clinical competence and they look for value in their work that extends beyond excellence in clinical care. They look for the intangibles and meaningful connections that prompted them to choose healthcare as a profession in the first place. Our goal is to sustain a culture where our people can thrive and find satisfaction, both personally and professionally.
Surgeons will tell you that trust is a key driver of satisfaction with IONM services—trust that the IONM professionals will be present and ready as an integrated part of the team whenever they’re needed, trust to establish meaningful baselines before surgery, and trust to provide knowledgeable and confident support in the most crucial moments during surgery. When vetting a potential IONM provider, future trustworthiness might seem difficult to assess, but there are many indicators that will help you be confident that you’re making the right decision.