Archive Orthopedic Surgery 2018

Total Support for Total Joints

Consultants from top orthopedic manufacturers can guide you to same-day replacement success.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Executive Editor

BIO

ON THE BLOCK
GOOD DEAL Consulting services bring clinical and financial expertise to the table and help you identify ways to grow your joints program.

When Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center named Marc W. Hungerford, MD, chief of the division of orthopedics, his mission was clear and no less daunting: Upgrade Mercy's total joints program so it could compete with those at nearby behemoths University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins. Sure, Dr. Hungerford had run successful total joints programs at previous institutions, but this time he brought in a powerful and prestigious partner — a consulting service created by a top orthopedic instrument and implant maker.

Now in its 8th year, the partnership has worked wonders. The results speak for themselves. Mercy's key total joints indicators have decreased significantly: costs by 20%, blood transfusion rate by 75%, lengths of stay by 35% and discharges to nursing homes by 80%.

Would it have been difficult for Dr. Hungerford to dig deep into outcomes data and make those changes on his own? "No," he says. "It would have been impossible.

"We've improved the quality of care we deliver, decreased our costs and increased our case volume and profitability," he continues. "We're able to assess what's actually going on in the big picture instead of trying to chase small problems one at a time. The partnership has been really effective for us." Orthopedic implant and instrument makers are getting into the consulting business because, let's be honest, a facility that relies on their advice is also more likely to use their products. But the company's consulting services are separate entities that can be incredibly useful resources if you're looking to launch a same-day joints program or breathe new life into your existing one.

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