Dr. Stephen Fealy on BetterPT, Kno2 partnership and the biggest obstacle to orthopedic care

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BetterPT has partnered with healthcare interoperability company Kno2 to launch a referral network. 

The Kno2 partnership provides physician referrers an entry point via the BetterPT app to improve patient access to physical therapy and help them share patient information with physical therapists for more informed and effective care.

The app enables patients to find and set up appointments with local clinics that suit their needs and accept their insurance. The inbound patient management system helps clinics reduce administrative work.

Orthopedic surgeon Stephen Fealy, MD, of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City is co-founder and CMO of BetterPT. 

Here, Dr. Fealy outlines the value of an interoperable referral system for physicians and shares his insight on the biggest barriers and trends in orthopedics.

Question: What are the primary objectives of this new initiative? How do you see it evolving over the next two to three years?

Dr. Stephen Fealy: Interoperability is inevitable for the healthcare industry. It's a necessary piece of the puzzle and ultimately means we, as providers, are able to share valuable insights with one another for better outcomes. Physical therapy is an important part of clinical rehabilitation and preventive care but suffers from a lack of connectivity with other healthcare providers that may be involved with the patient, including referring physicians and orthopedic surgeons. The partnership between BetterPT and Kno2 offers the tools necessary to provide consistency in diagnosis and treatment throughout the full continuum of care.

As we change the way providers interact, share information and approach patient care, this partnership also has the potential to expand and streamline patient access to physical therapy.   

Q: As an orthopedic surgeon, what is the biggest barrier to care in your field?

SF: Access. We know that when people have access to the care they need, they are healthier and experience better outcomes. Yet in order to receive that care, patients often have to navigate a complicated system in order to find a provider in their location, coordinate scheduling, confirm coverage and services, etc. — all of which delay or prevent treatment. The process by which patients gain access to care needs to be transparent and streamlined.

Q: What do you see as the next big trend in orthopedics?

SF: Healthcare today is mobile. Patients want to be connected. They are constantly on the move and often juggling several things at once. They want and need fast, convenient and individualized service in order to prioritize healthcare. As providers, our healthcare team have to be ready and willing to adopt technologies that enable this level of connectivity and find ways as an industry to service on-demand care. 

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