RESEARCH & INNOVATION
Local Focus, National Perspective
Our data allows us to make recommendations to our partners that can lead to significant cost savings, safer surgery, and better overall outcomes for patients.
OUR DATA IS UNIQUE & EXPANSIVE
SCOPE, The SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry™
SpecialtyCare is uniquely positioned to innovate and advance the practice of medicine within our core competencies. Because our clinicians partner with surgical teams in hundreds of thousands of cases and a wide range of clinical settings across the U.S. each year, we are able to gather data on techniques that typically are not seen in isolated medical facilities or by other providers with a more limited scope. The result is a collection of rich, expansive data in SCOPE, the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry™, the largest multi-institutional clinical database of its kind. Members of our medical office analyze the case data and communicate 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 our national network, which drives improvement and innovation at the local level. This data allows us to make recommendations to our partners that can lead to significant cost savings, safer surgery, and better overall outcomes for patients.
Research in Perfusion
Our perfusionists participate in more than 120,000 surgeries annually. Research on this vast dataset continues to reveal important insights. For example, we have learned that there are unintended consequences to over-reducing cardiopulmonary bypass circuit prime volume. Contrary to the current trend of reducing prime volume in the heart-lung machine to avoid blood transfusions during cardiac surgery, reducing the volume too much can actually increase transfusions. When used efficiently, red blood cell transfusions may save lives, but these same transfusions are also associated with significant patient complications.
We’ve also released findings on the application of 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.
Listen to Checking the Vitals
In this podcast we dive deep into the healthcare space, from the people that dedicate their lives to patient care to the companies improving patient outcomes through innovation. From well-respected surgeons and thought leaders to those on the front lines of healthcare, we’ll bring you conversations with those making a difference both in the OR and beyond. Through in-depth interviews with nurses, sterile processing technicians, clinical managers, and even healthcare technology companies and startups, we’ll discuss what’s on the horizon in the industry in regards to careers, technology, and innovation.
Research in Intraoperative Neuromonitoring
SpecialtyCare’s intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) clinicians also have a rich history of research and innovation that has led to numerous refinements in IONM, including the use of transcranial electric motor evoked potentials (tceMEPs). For example, we were among the first to introduce routine use of tceMEPs in monitoring both spine and intracranial surgery. We were also among the first to articulate and advocate a multimodality approach to neuromonitoring, such as multimodality monitoring techniques for robotic surgeries of the spine and thyroid.
Our clinicians have developed and published findings on a spinal cord mapping technique for guiding placement of dorsal column stimulators, and are developing new mapping techniques for deep brain stimulation surgery using local field potentials to help guide stimulator placement.
We have also developed customized anesthesia protocols for optimized tceMEP recording and techniques for monitoring nerve root function during spine surgery, brachial plexus function during shoulder reconstruction, and sciatic nerve function during acetabular/pelvic surgery. We also used empirical research and clinical trials to study the influences of the most commonly used anesthetics on neurophysiologic signals. As a result, we have developed tailored anesthesia protocols that meet the specific goals of the anesthesiologist without compromising the quality and power of the intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) data, thereby ensuring greater clarity and speed in the interpretation of significant neurophysiologic change.
Collaboration with Advisory Boards
In addition to clinical advancements uncovered through our research, we also utilize the expertise of advisory boards that include innovative clinicians and industry-leading physicians, surgeons, and anesthesiologists. Together, they work closely with our chief medical officer, members of our medical office, and SpecialtyCare management to provide:
- Insight into the perfusion, neuromonitoring, surgical assistance, and clinical technician service environments
- Recommendations to advance clinical systems, including quality indicators, procedural guidelines, and improvement initiatives
- Guidance to ensure exemplary service to our customers
- Assistance in developing and maintaining positive relationships with the medical, perfusion, surgical assistance, and clinical technician communities–collaborations that include ideas for growing the hospital’s business and for improving recruitment and retention of clinical staff
- Ongoing input for our continuing education programs.