4 spine surgeons discuss strategies they're implementing in 2020

Written by Alan Condon | December 03, 2019 | Print  |

Four spine and neurosurgeons outline initiatives they will be implementing to enhance their practice next year.

Question: What are your plans for your practice next year? What strategies or initiatives are you implementing?

Oren Gottfried, MD. Duke University School of Medicine (Durham, N.C.): I keep all the spine surgeons at my institution updated with their quality and safety outcomes, patient satisfaction in the clinic and hospital as well as many value based metrics. I think surgeon report cards are key to improving quality of our care and reducing costs.

Robert Brady, MD. Norwalk (Conn.) Hospital and OrthoConnecticut (Danbury): It has always been my philosophy to practice evidence-based medicine. This has been particularly relevant regarding the procedures I offer my patients. Robotic navigation for placement of pedicle screws has become a major part of my practice over the last year and a half. The robot has allowed me to become more efficient and more accurate, with less intraoperative radiation, making it safer for the patient, staff and me. I am currently working on projects to expand the utility of robotic navigation to a greater portion of my procedures such as interbody insertion.

William Rambo, MD. Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery (Columbia, S.C.): Navigating diverse and complex payer administrative requirements to receive payment for services is increasingly labor and cost-intensive. In 2020, our practice intends to leverage technology whenever possible to reduce manual administrative work as well as enhance the patient experience. App-based solutions and machine learning/artificial intelligence-enabled platforms are quickly advancing as viable options in the practice setting to reduce manual tasks.

Kee Kim, MD. UC Davis School of Medicine (Sacramento, Calif.): When I cofounded the UC Davis Spine Center in 2006, our goal was to have a comprehensive spine center comprised of all the disciplines including nonsurgical spine specialists, physical therapists and a clinical psychologist. Back then, it was rare for our spine patients to be able to go to one place to have all their spine-related issues addressed. Although this model is quite common now, I believe what we offer is a very special working environment resulting from more than a decade of cultivating a collegial and collaborative approach. Just with the word of mouth from our patients and our referring physicians, the demand for our services has grown over the years. 

The plan for 2020 is a smart expansion to better meet the needs of our patients. We are recruiting an additional neurospine surgeon to not only enhance our clinical practice but also strengthen our laboratory to translational spinal research. Over the years, we have built one of the busiest clinical trials in the country. We want to build upon that and further grow our clinical trials program. Patients seek us out to access cutting-edge technology available only in a clinical trial. Even if they do not qualify for the study, they often stay with us for care. We are also taking the initiative to start operating at the UC Davis Same Day Surgery Center to increase our OR access for our expanding minimally invasive spine surgery program. 

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