SwiftPath: Transforming joint replacement care

Written by Laura Dyrda | August 23, 2017 | Print  |

Surgeons, payers, administrators and investors across the country have come to recognize the SwiftPath Program for its work in outpatient joint replacement.

SwiftPath presently provides its services to over 20 joint replacement surgeons in Washington State. Shawn Quigley, director of strategic implementation at Proliance Surgeons, Inc., one of the largest orthopedic practices in the country said, “When we looked at our data, we noticed that the surgeons using The SwiftPath platform had some of the best data in terms of our BPCI program.” Dr. Craig McAllister is the CMO of SwiftPath and helped pioneer the program based on his own clinical experience. According to Dr. McAllister, “As early as 2006, we began to realize that a comprehensive approach to patient engagement, modern pain management, and minimally invasive techniques would enable outpatient joint replacement. But, honestly, what was more exciting was the impact that this approach had on the sicker patients.”


“Proliance surgeons are recognized as thought leaders in joint replacement both nationally and in their respective hospitals,” Dr. McAllister said. “They need a platform that addresses the growing patient demand for outpatient joint replacement while also lowering length of stay, the use of skilled nursing facilities, and readmissions for their inpatient joint replacements. They need a program like SwiftPath that can fully integrate with and meet the needs of our hospitals,” he said.


However, Dr. McAllister is quick to emphasize that the needs of the joint replacement community are not adequately served by simply shifting healthier patients to ASCs. “At SwiftPath, we are singularly focused on one simple fact: the methods and processes that enable outpatient replacement will have the most impact on patients who are not appropriate for ambulatory settings. SwiftPath’s comprehensive approach to patient engagement, family involvement, shared decision-making, online preoperative education and nutrition counseling, narcotic-sparing pain management and cloud-based patient reported outcomes are fully integrated in a turnkey package that elevates joint replacement care for all patients,” Dr. McAllister said.


“These results were documented in an IRB-approved study presented at multiple refereed meetings,” Dr. McAllister said. “Their lengths of stay naturally decreased to one day, unnecessary lab tests and consults were being eliminated, opiate consumption and complications went down, skilled nursing utilization and readmissions went down markedly, and patient satisfaction went up. It turned out that it was the sickest patients who benefited the most,” he said.


Goran Dragolovic, formerly with Surgical Care Affiliates, has been at the forefront of negotiating with payers for improved delivery for orthopedic services. “With CMS removing total knee replacement from the inpatient-only list, we see that all payers are aware that sight of service rather than utilization is the primary source behind the escalating cost of surgical delivery and are therefore focusing more efforts to assist in the migration of surgery to lower cost settings,” Mr. Dragolovic said. “The Proliance/SwiftPath model, in my opinion, is the ideal model for safely migrating joint replacements to the more cost effective ambulatory setting while also improving care for all joint replacement patients — inpatient as well as outpatient. It really is a comprehensive platform that addresses the new demands that are being placed on joint replacement providers,” he said.


“What won me over about SwiftPath was the academic approach to better the whole outpatient total joint idea. Patients are asking how they can avoid staying in the hospital overnight. SwiftPath allows the patient to oversee their recovery and outcome more intimately which is really what many are asking to do. With SwiftPath we can guide them through the outpatient experience and allow them to oversee their recovery,” said Dr. John Jiganti. “Hospital administrators need to know that everyone benefits from us taking our patients through The SwiftPath JointCamp. There will be less ambiguity, length of stays will be significantly less, complications and readmissions will decrease, and this is important for everyone involved,” Jiganti said.


Dr. Rodney Altman, a managing director of Spindletop Capital, recently visited the SwiftPath offices. “Spindletop believes that, in the practice of medicine, the patient always comes first. Our core values recognize that we can do well financially and do good at the same time, benefiting patients, our communities, and other stakeholders. When we began searching for the best solution to outpatient joint replacement, the name SwiftPath kept coming up as an excellent solution to improve quality and efficiency,” Dr. Altman said.

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