How a scheduling platform can change the game for orthopedic ASC patient selection: Q&A with Medtel's Harold Mondschein

Medtel, a technology company expands surgical care management upstream in a patient's journey, enabling providers the earliest chance to mitigate risk, connect their teams, and support better outcomes, all before the incision. Providers can use Medtel to apply clinical and financial criteria to the patient selection process to ensure the patient ends up in the most appropriate surgical setting based on need.

CEO and Co-Founder Harold Mondschein hears from surgeons, surgery centers, and hospitals that there is a lack of pre-surgical patient engagement, and that poor provider coordination is a significant and persistent problem that can lead to sub-optimal outcomes and more expensive care. Medtel solves this by creating a Care Command Center that begins at the surgical office level. This proactive approach eliminates surprises and can boost outcomes without slowing care, which is especially useful as surgeons prepare to take more complex cases into the outpatient facilities.

Here, Mr. Mondschein describes how the Medtel platform can make a big difference for value-based orthopedic and spine care.

Q: Are you seeing more surgeons interested in outpatient spine and orthopedic surgery?

Harold Mondschein: Yes, we are seeing much greater interest amongst surgeons, patients and payors in same day discharges for spine and total joint procedures. Patient selection criteria seems to be a common question as providers seek to transition these cases to outpatient settings.

Q: How does the scheduling platform work? What is the difference from the traditional process?

HM: Increasing the number of same day discharges for spine and total joint procedures has potential benefits not only to the patient, but also the provider and payor. Alternative payment models, as well as advances in anesthesia, implant delivery, and technologies are enabling providers to perform more complex cases in outpatient settings. The consistent success of these cases requires a proactive approach to surgical care.

Providers use Medtel to eliminate surprises in a patient’s care journey. The goal is to leverage predictive analytics to make sure providers have the earliest chance to understand the risk (patient selection process) and immediately engage their teams to ensure that the case goes without surprises. Historically, manual-based processes have hampered proactive approaches to surgical care coordination. Medtel is not the first company to tackle these challenges, but we are the first to go after the problem before there is one, while streamlining the process. Fixing a problem during or after surgery is not good for the patient and is costly for the surgeon, hospital or ASC.

Q: What gaps in patient selection can the system catch?

HM: It is important to replicate, share, and scale best practice. Standardizing processes and capturing the appropriate patient selection criteria is enormously valuable in today’s healthcare landscape. There are several psychosocial, clinical, and financial considerations factor into the patient selection process. Medtel provides software to leverage and capture data before the incision. Our solution provides a systematic approach for the provider to identify the inclusion and exclusion criteria for same day discharge. If there is an unexpected outcome, it is important that a provider can quickly identify a possible cause and adjust or modify their same day discharge criteria or processes.

Q: Beyond the patient's health, there are several factors that could prevent them from a successful outpatient surgery. For example, if the patient doesn't have a support system at home, outpatient surgery typically isn't a good option. Does the system address that?

HM: The Medtel solution systematically guides a provider and/or their team through a series of guidelines or questions. If a patient or family is not capable or does not have the desire for outpatient surgery, then they should be quickly identified and funneled into the inpatient setting.

Q: Does the system have economic benefit for the healthcare providers using it?

HM: Yes, Medtel has economic benefits for providers. Many providers today have an economic stake in an ASC or a physician-hospital joint venture. Using Medtel to assist in their patient selection process, streamlining workflows, and standardizing care in the outpatient or inpatient setting has economic benefits. It is important that providers can rely on Medtel to help them deliver more efficient and cost-effective care.

More articles on orthopedic surgery:
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