Healthcare

Using Cutting-Edge Technology To Reduce The Cost Of Healthcare

Many patients associate medical treatments with discomfort, oftentimes due to the potentially lengthy procedure and recovery time. Fortunately, the latest technological innovations can help shorten procedures and limit complications and recovery times, and we are frequently seeing new technology added to medical centers to treat patients as efficiently as possible. These technological advances add comfort during and after treatment while not compromising patient care.

Performing any type of procedure can be a complicated process. Each operating room has special technological and logistical needs, and each patient’s surgery and recovery must be customized. To address many of these needs, we recently added several technological tools and procedure options, including Stryker’s iSuite Integrated OR, COOLIEF Cooled Radiofrequency Treatment and Mobi-C Disc Replacement.

Stryker’s iSuite Integrated OR

Stryker’s Integrated OR adds a level of sophistication to any operating room with customizable features, including the SwitchPoint Infinity 3 Control System. This system manages video and surgical devices for efficiency in the OR by allowing you to view up to four video sources on a single monitor, broadcast a pre-surgical checklist to all monitor screens, and save and preview frequently used room configurations to reduce turn-around time and expedite room setup. Additionally, it automatically sends system alerts and maintenance information to technical staff and customer care, allowing Stryker to respond proactively and keep the system ready to operate when you are.

In addition to this control system, Stryker’s iSuite Integrated OR offers other technology options to cater to the needs of a demanding OR, such as arm sets that are available with varying lengths and articulation options to allow flexible support of any equipment and setting; technology that provides a large column of pure white light, which decreases the need to adjust the light during a procedure; and options to provide a workplace within the OR for the circulating nurse to manage all of the equipment.

COOLIEF Cooled Radiofrequency Treatment

The COOLIEF procedure is a non-invasive, outpatient option for those suffering from chronic back, hip or knee pain and is designed to treat pain lasting for longer than three months. The procedure uses cooled radiofrequency (RF) energy to safely target the sensory nerves causing pain by circulating water through the COOLIEF device while heating nervous tissue to create a treatment area that is larger than conventional RF treatments. This combination targets the pain-causing nerves without excessive heating.

Using this treatment means no incisions and a short recovery time. Most patients experience improved mobility and are able to return to their normal activities within several days. Most importantly for patients, clinical studies have demonstrated that the treatment can provide up to 24 months of relief from chronic back pain.

Mobi-C Disc Replacement

Mobi-C is the first and only cervical disc replacement approved to treat both one- and two-level pathology, and it is designed to replicate the natural motion of the cervical spine. It differs from other cervical discs because of its bone-sparing technique, which has been proved to eliminate the need for bone chiseling and drilling.

The greatest benefit from a clinical standpoint with Mobi-C compared to cervical spine fusion was seen in two-level indications, particularly in reoperation rates and disability improvement. Disc replacement patients had lower rates of subsequent surgeries and reduced rates of ongoing degeneration at spinal segments adjacent to the surgery. Additionally, in the clinical study, Mobi-C patients, on average, returned to work one week faster for one-level patients and three weeks faster for two-level patients (compared to fusion patients).

These are just some examples of the latest technology and treatments we’re using at Victory. Additionally, our anesthesia teams are proficient utilizing Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia that provides our patients with excellent intraoperative and postoperative pain relief. Ultrasound guidance allows real-time visualization in relation to the patients’ anatomic structure, making the regional anesthesia safer and more successful. Comfort and safety are paramount for our patients, and this allows for shorter recovery times and reduced side effects.

We believe each of these tools helps advance our industry by benefitting our surgeons, nurses and ultimately the patients, and we continue to look for additional ways to improve the technology and logistics to ensure the most comfortable and efficient treatments for our patients.

While this newly added technology might end up costing more in the front end, the benefits for the patients, physicians and staff far outweigh those costs. By utilizing the latest procedures, innovation and technology, we are maintaining the quality Victory Medical Centers are known for while reducing surgery, OR and recovery times, which all ultimately help reduce the overall cost of care.

Being able to provide patients with the best quality and best possible options for their care—at a reasonable cost—is our ultimate goal as healthcare professionals. At Victory, our commitment to providing leading-edge technology runs through the entire fabric of our company and to me is one of the most exciting parts of our industry. 

Michael Urbach is president and COO of Victory Healthcare, a system with medical centers in Hurst, Fort Worth (opening summer 2015), McKinney, and Plano that is based in The Woodlands.

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