The pandemic has taught how to survive adversity, CEO says

Annu Navani, MD, is the founder and CEO of Campbell, Calif.-based Comprehensive Spine & Sports Center and an adjunct clinical associate professor of the division of pain at Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Navani will serve on the panel "Interventional Spine Tech: Revolutionary or All Hype?" at Becker's 19th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place in Chicago from June 16-18. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Question: What issues are you spending most of your time on today?

Dr. Annu Navani: My practice was recently acquired, and as a result, I became the [chief medical officer] of the entire group of new and preexisting clinics. I oversee 28 clinics and 200 medical providers. Much of my time is spent on the integration process, learning about strengths and areas of improvement in clinics, providers, services, etc. Next, I will establish standardization of best practices and expand service lines and geographic locations to emerge as an unshakeable leader in the field.

Q: What are your top challenges and how will they change over the next 12 months?

AN: The top challenges now are keeping up with the physician and staff recruitment and dealing with supply chain disruption, as businesses have exponentially grown during the pandemic and will continue to grow. A glaring example is the recent brief close of Shanghai's GE plant leading to a recent CT contrast dye shortage. Issues like these are seen every day in the clinics. I think these issues will continue over the next 12 months and will depend on how the pandemic is handled going forward and how long it takes to normalize our life. 

Q: How are you thinking about investments and growth in the next two years? 

AN: The growth in orthopedics, spine and pain has been steady and will remain so. These are safe specialties, as the need is always there and will continue to thrive for various reasons. First, they offer a vast spectrum of services, many of which can be administered via telehealth. In addition, there is a trend to drift toward minimally invasive surgeries that can be performed in nonhospital-based outpatient facilities like ASCs or in-office procedure suites that are less regulated and less likely to shut down during a surge of the pandemic. This has led to quite a bit of interest in investment in these specialties. 

Q: What are you most excited about right now?  

AN: The pandemic has taught us how to survive adversity; now, we have learned to survive and thrive in it. It is incredible how we are becoming more analytical, progressive and self-sufficient during the toughest times. Process automation and AI, alternative supply chain strategies, and patient consumerization are the elements of this change that excite me the most. 

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