Saul Marquez, Host at Outcomes Rocket Podcast

Improving Better Outcomes by Creating Seamless Patient Journeys Across Virtual and In-Person Care

Friday January 29th 2021

Improving Better Outcomes by Creating Seamless Patient Journeys Across Virtual and In-Person Care


Many hospitals nationwide are under financial strain when they stopped elective procedures around March 2020 to focus on the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.  That’s because hospitals rely on surgical services for much of their revenue. Elective surgeries are the financial foundation for the many other health services hospitals provide. 


Hospital administrators say orthopedic and cardiovascular surgeries can account for up to 80% of revenue. Infectious diseases and intensive respiratory treatments are considered to be less profitable. 


The drop in admissions meant serious trouble for hospitals and health systems, especially for those that did not have the financial resources to make up for the decline in revenue. As of October 2020, southfloridahospitalnews.com reported that 47 hospitals have closed and filed for bankruptcy, which significantly impacted workers.  Thousands were either laid off or received salary deductions. 


This situation brought about the coronavirus pandemic has exposed one big problem in the health economy. It highlighted that the system is fragmented and still a long way from the value-based healthcare the government is pushing for. 


If surgical services have such a huge impact on the hospital’s bottom line (and consequently, the patient experience), why do we often hear of operating room scheduling problems, or surgeons complaining about delayed elective, or staffing concerns?


Is there a way to deliver exceptional patient outcomes at a reduced cost, or improve OR efficiencies?


Thankfully, companies like Surgical Directions deliver data-based solutions to improve patient experience and create better efficiencies. 


Delivering improved surgical services


Surgical Directions is a specialty healthcare consulting firm committed to driving lasting change in operational, clinical, and financial performance in hospitals and health systems. 


In our podcast interview with Leslie Basham, President and Chief Operating Officer at Surgical Directions, she emphasized how the company is adding value to the healthcare ecosystem.  


“We are focused on addressing a lot of those issues I talked about (improve patient outcomes, deliver exceptional patient care at a sustainable cost, get back to the seamless care process for patients and for people who are delivering the care). How do we improve patient access? How do we improve the efficiency of patient care so that each person has a meaningful experience and gets the outcomes that they need, but not creating the bottlenecks in the system, and reducing the overall cost of care, particularly in surgical space,” Leslie explained. 


Surgical Directions is focused on surgery and anesthesia. Since surgical services equate to 20% of the national health spending and 70% of the health system revenue according to Leslie, how do hospitals ensure that it is performing at its best?  


To help health systems create better efficiencies, Surgical Directions offer six services, all designed to improve outcomes. These services include Strategy, Anesthesia Services, Perioperative Consulting, Advanced Analytics, Value-Based Management, and Interim Leadership Staffing. 


Using a peer to peer model (matching surgeons to surgeons, anesthesiologists to the anesthesiologist, etc), an experienced team from Surgical Directions establish cross-functional or multidisciplinary governance councils with a surgeon (chair), anesthesia (co-chair), nurses, and administration.  That multi-disciplinary council is provided with the analytics to help them make informed decisions. 


The Surgical Directions team also works with the different groups involved in the surgery to discuss patient cases to be scheduled in the coming days, ensuring that the pre and post-op are ready, connecting the various pieces to create a seamless patient journey and a smoother run for the clinicians involved. They also assist with the operational processes that add stress, minimizing those stressors to provide excellent patient care. 


Drawing from their skills and past experiences, the Surgical Directions team stays with the client through the transformation period, helping and addressing issues as they arise. 


Committed to serving the healthcare community


It is amazing how Surgical Directions is reshaping the delivery of care in the operating room.  With their help, you can improve OR performance, increase surgeon satisfaction, enhance efficiency, and increase the bottom line, taking your health system from good to great. 


Surgical Directions is a Chicago-based company that has helped more than 400 healthcare clients nationwide. 


As of January 2021, Surgical Directions, LLC just completed a management buyout and is now a fully independent company that is focused, excited, and committed to fulfilling its vision and continuing to serve the healthcare community.

To learn more about Surgical Directions, you can listen to my interview with Leslie here: https://outcomesrocket.health/surgical-directions/2021/01/.

Written By

Saul Marquez

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