How much a hospital spends on surgical supplies and staffing depends largely on its physicians, who drive 75-85% of all quality and cost decisions. Much like the selection of surgical supplies, the choice of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) providers has traditionally been left to the surgeons. As a result, it’s not uncommon to have three or more IONM providers supporting different surgeons within the same hospital. This often leads to unnecessary operational complexity and high managerial costs. And, while many non-consolidated, multi-provider environments originate from surgeon preference, they can actually have a negative impact on surgeon satisfaction. Consolidating providers is an attractive solution, but consolidation cannot be accomplished without surgeon buy-in, and that requires careful planning and coordination.
SpecialtyCare’s education scholarship program is designed to support and assist cardiovascular perfusion students who demonstrate the potential to advance patient-focused care in a way that honors the legacies of Jim Brown and Gary Brukardt. The selection committee was delighted by the strong response and overwhelming quality of this year’s candidate pool, which further illustrates the extraordinary talent and commitment of our finalists. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2018 Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Education Scholarships are Jacki Brolhorst and Robert DeGiosio. We are confident that they will make significant contributions to patients’ lives and the practice of cardiovascular perfusion for years to come.
The ABRET Neurodiagnostic Credentialing and Accreditation Board has recognized SpecialtyCare’s Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) Training Program with formal Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring program status. This makes SpecialtyCare one of only two training programs, and the sole clinical services provider, to achieve this recognition. With approval as a recognized program, our surgical neurophysiology trainees gain Pathway IV eligibility for ABRET’s Certification in Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (CNIM) testing.
PENCIL is a terrific organization that helps Metro Nashville Public School students achieve academic and future success. As a proud PENCIL Partner, SpecialtyCare regularly hosts students from Hillsboro High School’s Academy of Global Health & Science. Our fully equipped simulation operating room, or Sim OR, which is used to train our staff, provides the perfect environment to introduce the students to life as a member of a surgical team. Our Nashville IONM Operational Leadership and the IONM Education Team have designed an elite experience for the students to actively learn about electrophysiology and participate in a virtual surgical procedure that utilizes intraoperative neuromonitoring to assist the surgeon and keep the patient safe during surgery.
The risks and complications of blood transfusion are well documented. One technique commonly used to help reduce the need for bank blood is autotransfusion, also referred to as intraoperative autotransfusion (IAT) or autologous blood transfusion. IAT is a method of collecting the patient’s blood lost during surgery, processing it, and returning it to the patient. This can significantly reduce, or even eliminate the need for blood transfusions, which in turn reduces complications and the cost of care.
SpecialtyCare’s Executive Leadership supports the funding of perfusion education tuition for two students enrolled in CAAHEP-accredited programs. We will begin accepting the next round of applications for the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship Program on December 1, 2017. Perfusion is both a vital medical service and a smart career choice. About 350,000 people need open heart surgery and related cardiovascular perfusion support every year. However, hospitals are currently experiencing a perfusionist shortage, and qualified experts are in high demand. We are committed to actively recruiting smart, motivated men and women into the field to ensure that surgeons and patients have skilled perfusion care available when they need it most.
When a person is under medical care, the patient and his loved ones need to trust that the practitioner is educated, licensed, and trained in the specialty. And that’s where medical staff professionals (MSPs) come in. We maintain credentialing and licensure information, implement federal rulings and accrediting standards, and enforce the rules, regulations, and policies that govern the activities of medical staff. More than 2,000 MSPs gathered recently for the 41st National Association Medical Staff Services Educational Conference & Exhibition in Colorado Springs. The event was the perfect run-up to National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week, so I’d like to offer a recap of the conference as we celebrate the team at SpecialtyCare, and their counterparts all across the country, who work hard behind the scenes to ensure patient health and safety.
On November 3rd, we were honored to accept the 2017 Delaware Valley Patient Safety & Quality Award from The Health Care Improvement Foundation for our submission, “Implementation of a Patient Blood Management Program,” which outlines the integration of patient blood management (PBM) as a daily, embedded quality improvement strategy at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (TJUH). The project was evaluated on evidence of significant and sustained improvement in quality, patient safety, innovation, and the potential for replication in other healthcare organizations. As an outsourced provider of PBM implementation, we are thrilled to share in TJUH’s success and we applaud its leadership and organizational commitment to improvement.
In Puerto Rico—more than one month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island—many communities still lack the water, electricity, pharmaceuticals, communications, transportation, and other resources needed to sustain life and care for patients. At Hospital Español Auxilio Mutuo in San Juan, our cardiac perfusion team works under these challenging conditions to provide medical care, which has included a successful aortic dissection repair performed with the patient under deep hypothermic circulatory arrest while the hospital was on generator power.
Mitigating risk is top of mind in healthcare right now. The OR Excellence Conference hit this topic and many more head-on during its 9th annual gathering in Las Vegas. With 400 OR professionals in attendance, the conference curriculum focused on hospitals improving clinical outcomes, expanding caseloads, growing more profitable, and protecting staff and assets, all in an innovative and interactive learning format. Attendees are constantly looking for ways to protect their patients, succeed economically, and position their hospitals for the future while mitigating the risk of moving away from volume-based reimbursement to value-based care tied specifically to improving patient outcomes and minimizing clinical variation.