It has become apparent that as our population ages and the older population remains more active that the demand for orthopedic services will increase. It is estimated that the numbers of hip and knee replacements done in the United States will perhaps triple in the next decade. The orthopedic “product line” has and will continue to be a major economic force in the hospital industry and in rehabilitation facilities. It is important not only to prepare for the inevitable growth in this area but also to become more profitable, to maintain, and foster growth in the market for these services. It is also apparent that the orthopedic and cardiology departments will be the foundation of economic viability for the hospital industry.
This is certainly the driving force in the growth of “specialty hospitals.” The community hospital can and must compete successfully; to grow in this area with dedicated service lines in orthopedic surgery that are attractive to the population served and to providers who admit patients to these facilities. I have been involved with numerous projects to assist in this type of development. I have participated in the evaluation and application of new technologies, efficiencies in patient management, community outreach programs and the retention and engagement of providers to enhance the delivery of orthopedic services. This has been as simple as adherence to standard post-operative orders or as complex as “celebrity rounds” with a hall of fame baseball player to talk about the success of modern hip replacement surgery! I have promoted new technologies with operating room “open houses” where the public gets a “behind the scenes” tour of the facilities and participated as an intermediary in contracting for implant pricing and capital purchases.
Institutional partnership with providers can be accomplished and will be successful. Indeed many of the proposals in healthcare legislation enacted or envisioned embrace this concept. It is important to be proactive and innovative in the approach to these concepts and I have had the opportunity to participate at all levels of involvement with these programs and their implementation.
After successful hip replacement surgery, Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench made rounds with Dr. Rosen to relate his experience to those who had undergone the same procedure.
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