The Evolution of IONM

By October 2, 2018Articles
evolution of ionm

With decades of research and clinical experience under his belt, Tony Sestokas has seen an incredible evolution in intraoperative neuromonitoring, especially when it comes to technological advances in the field. Much like the generations who have watched televisions move from awkward, giant heavy boxes to lightweight flat screens, neuromonitoring equipment has made similar transformations.

“We used instruments that were designed and typically used in a clinical neurology, neurophysiology laboratory outside of the operating room, so we ended up wheeling in very large pieces of equipment, finding an appropriate place for them in the operating room, and trying to use that technology as best we could in a very different environment.”

Sestokas, chief clinical officer of SpecialtyCare’s IONM service line, took a walk down memory lane with Chief Marketing Officer Lee Pepper on an episode of Scrubbing In. He also described a day in the life of a neurophysiologist and the important role they play in the OR.

“Beyond all of that technical information, probably the single most important factor in successful neuromonitoring is the ability to communicate effectively with the surgeon,” he said. “The surgeon is focused on taking care of pathology and really needs to have information provided that is going to be useful to that surgeon in the moment, so communicating information about changes in neurologic function which is what we do, has to be concise and precise.”

Sestokas also talked about SpecialtyCare’s superior IONM training model and how the real-time collection of and documentation of clinical data drives continuous improvement and innovation in the OR.

“In our environment where we are not only taking care of patients, day in and day out, but are also interested in improving the quality of monitoring not only for SpecialtyCare but for the discipline at large.”

Hear more of Sestokas’ interview here.


About SpecialtyCare

Over 13,500 physicians in more than 1,000 hospitals trust SpecialtyCare to help them achieve exceptional care outcomes, regulatory compliance, and financial results. With nearly 2,000 associates supporting almost 400,000 procedures annually, we maintain SCOPE, the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry®, which is used to define standards, determine benchmarks, establish best practices, foster innovation, and identify opportunities to reduce clinical variation that result in improved patient outcomes, increased efficiencies, and minimized costs. We are accredited and certified by The Joint Commission. By developing expertise beyond industry requirements, our customers can be certain they have the best partner for clinical excellence in perfusion, ECMO, autotransfusion, patient blood management, intraoperative neuromonitoring, deep brain stimulation, surgical assist, minimally invasive surgical support, and sterile processing consulting.