SpecialtyCare continues to be an industry leader in data and research. Whether it’s perfusion, intraoperative neuromonitoring, deep brain stimulation or another field, our clinicians are teamed with surgeons in thousands of hospitals across the United States. We’re able to collect research on techniques that typically aren’t known in remote medical facilities or by other providers that may have a limited research range.
SpecialtyCare also has a secret weapon in data collection. We developed a clinical database called SCOPE, the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry, the largest multi-institutional database of its kind. With nearly 1,500 clinicians supporting over 400,000 procedures every year, the amount of data we have the ability to collect is tremendous and serves a number of purposes. We collect data from every case, from every service line, to identify healthcare to continue to fine tune best practices across the country, set benchmarks, and lead the industry in OR innovation. Data and research are critical to improving patient outcomes, increasing OR efficiency, and minimize costs to hospitals. Our clinicians benefit from this rich data to improve their skills in the OR to better serve their patients. The Members of our medical office analyze case data and share the scientific findings to our clinical professionals so that the evidence-based trends and best practices can be shared with surgeons and OR teams across the country. Our clinicians benefit from this rich data to improve their skills in the OR to better serve their patients.
We are very fortunate at SpecialtyCare to have a leadership team that is highly regarded in their respective service lines. Their research is published in a number of peer-reviewed scientific journals, such as The Journal of ExtraCorporeal Technology, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, and PLOS One. Their research in the areas of IONM and perfusion have helped advance the level of care in cardiac surgery and spinal procedures. SpecialtyCare is also represented at major conferences across the country, such as the AmSECT-AATS conference, where our leaders share data and research findings with other thought leaders in the healthcare industry.
Data within the perfusion field continues to give us important insights. For example, we’ve recently learned that there are unintended consequences to over-reducing cardiopulmonary bypass circuit prime volume. Research has shown that reducing the volume too much can actually increase blood transfusions, as opposed to the current trend of decreasing prime volume in the heart-lung machine to avoid transfusions during surgery. Red blood cell transfusions may save lives when used efficiently, but these same transfusions are also associated with patient complications. This is extremely important because patient care is our first priority.
SpecialtyCare has also released findings on goal-directed therapy for the use of concentrated antithrombin for heparin resistance during cardiac surgery. The maintenance of anticoagulation in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass is dependent upon a number of factors, including plasma heparin concentration and adequate circulating antithrombin (AT) levels. Subadequate anticoagulation increases the risk of thrombosis and jeopardizes vascular and circuit integrity.
Our study was designed to evaluate a goal-directed approach for the administration of concentrated AT in cardiac surgery patients who were resistant to heparin, and we found that utilization of a goal-directed algorithm is safe and effective for these patients.
We are on the cutting edge of IONM research. For example, we recently discovered there is a link between IONM and lower opioid use in recovery for spinal surgery. In a study of over 8,400 patients, cervical spine patients who had surgeries that included IONM were much less likely to be prescribed opiates within the year following surgery compared to patients that did not have IONM included in their surgery. This same study also determined there was a reduction on the number of readmissions post-surgery when IONM was used.
This outcome was also confirmed by another study that was presented by the North American Spine Society (NASS) in 2016 that directly linked a lower number of post-operative injuries in patients that had neuromonitoring during their surgery. This was a great scientific find within the context of the country’s ongoing opioid crisis. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has made opioid misuse of the United States’ top public health challenges. Any changes to medical practices that reduce demand on opioids can have positive health benefits for the industry over all.
In addition, We’d also invite you to take a look at some of the IONM research across our site:
What SpecialtyCare has learned is that DBS neurophysiology produces results. The anatomical targets used for DBS treatment are poorly visualized in MRI images, and the location can shift after the craniotomy due to pneumocephalus and CSF loss. Microlectrode recording (also known as MER) and stimulation mapping are performed intraoperatively to ensure positive identification of DBS targets and account for anatomical variability prior to implanting the permanent lead.
Deep brain stimulation neurophysiology differs from standard neuromonitoring because it requires specialized equipment and highly experienced staff who can provide results directly to the neurosurgeon in real time.
The success of DBS therapy depends on accurate placement of the DBS lead, which allows maximum effect and battery life with minimum side effects. To ensure the degree of accuracy needed to achieve the best results, we provide PhD neurophysiologists who have extensive experience in microelectrode and stimulation mapping techniques.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation use increased by 433 percent in adults, from 2006-2011 and SpecialtyCare is responding to this need by implementing a training program to increase the pool of associates available for this service. As with our other service lines, data from these cases will be entered into our SCOPE™ database and our medical team will analyze results to improve patient care.
Because our clinicians support 375,000 procedures each year, SpecialtyCare is able to gather data on new techniques in cerebral hemodynamic monitoring and diagnostic services, including transcranial doppler ultrasound, carotid duplex ultrasound, and electroencephalography (EEG).
If a hospital’s Sterile Processing Department isn’t functioning at a high level, patients can acquire infections from instruments that have not been properly cleaned, disinfected, or sterilized. Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), which account for a significant portion of all healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), can affect the quality of patient outcomes and even result in death. Statistics overwhelmingly confirm that SSIs can have serious consequences for a hospital and its patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.7 million HAIs occur in U.S. hospitals each year, resulting in an estimated $20 billion in healthcare costs and 99,000 deaths.
SpecialtyCare’s most recent research, utilizing data from SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry (SCOPE™) includes gender-based differences that influence transfusion rates. Given the costly nature of blood transfusions, the rates of infection, and length of hospital stay, more studies should be conducted on the impact of gender on transfusion practice in cardiac surgery. Our research also has given us useful information on the use of ultrafiltration during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), and the effectiveness of acute normovolemic hemodilution and autologous priming in the operating room.
The surgical assist team is vital to the flow of the OR and can make or break the amount of downtime that occurs during surgery. SpecialtyCare’s surgical assistants provide more than high-quality clinical skills to ensure the best patient outcomes—we instill confidence by providing surgeons with reliable, assured support when it matters most. Data coming soon.
Our annual minimally invasive surgical support caseload is at 160,000 offering us an opportunity to track a large number of surgery start times and their duration so we can ensure our MISS team is eliminating as much downtime as possible. More data coming soon.
Customers using our unique Patient Blood Management (PBM) program have seen a reduction in blood-related costs, fewer readmissions, and reduced length of stay. SpecialtyCare received 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 patient blood management (PBM) strategy for quality improvement at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (TJUH). In two years, there were 12,654 fewer blood component units transfused, a 22 percent reduction in red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, a 28 percent reduction in blood product spending, a 277 percent overall return on investment, and a total savings of $4 million.
In 2017, SpecialtyCare launched OptimizeOR, a user-friendly decision support and analytics system that helps hospitals improve on operative performance. OptimizeOR is a data-driven application that allows hospital leaders to optimize their staff as well as standardize supplies and implant use across surgeons. Learn more about OptimzeOR.