Project spotlight series: Surgical Concierge simplifies your surgery experience

[2 MIN READ]

In this article:

  • The Digital Innovation Group (DIG) at Providence identifies ways to develop healthcare technology that improves access and equity for the communities we serve.

  • Surgical Concierge is a pilot program that uses telehealth services and digital solutions to engage and guide patients throughout their surgical journey.

  • The Providence DIG team weighs in on how we’re simplifying scheduling, communication and follow-up for personalized medical care that makes a difference.

If you’ve ever had a planned, elective (non-emergency) surgical procedure, such as hip or knee replacement, you know how challenging it can be to coordinate all the steps that encompass your surgical journey. Finding the right doctor, securing referrals, fulfilling insurance requirements, scheduling multiple appointments, coordinating preoperative testing, and managing follow-up care after surgery can be a confusing, complicated ordeal. And doing all that when you’re not feeling your best doesn’t make the process any easier. Sometimes you may even wonder if you’re on your own as you slowly piece together the intricate puzzle of your complex care plan.

Surgical Concierge is one of the ways we’re working to simplify your surgery experience so you can concentrate on what’s important — improving your health.

The Providence Digital Innovation Group (DIG) believes there’s a better way for you to get the care you need. Surgical Concierge is one of the ways we’re working to simplify your surgery experience so you can concentrate on what’s important — improving your health.

Since its early beginnings seven years ago, DIG has implemented dozens of programs dedicated to improving healthcare delivery, access and equity. In our Resource Center, we share examples of our work in Project Spotlights.

Part one of our project spotlight series looked at how we’re transforming the patient care journey. Next, we addressed caring for caregivers with the Caregiver Stress Meter. This month we feature details of our Surgical Concierge program.

Surgical Concierge

Surgical Concierge is a pilot project created by Providence DIG in partnership with several clinical and patient engagement support teams. The program uses virtual care options including online doctor visits, telehealth consultation and digital tools to engage and guide patients throughout every phase of their care plan, beginning at the point of referral all the way through post-op care.

Surgical care journeys have historically been dictated by providers, whose calendars are divided neatly into 15- or 20-minute appointment slots. However, most patient care needs do not fit within these constraints.

“Surgical care journeys have historically been dictated by providers, whose calendars are divided neatly into 15- or 20-minute appointment slots. However, most patient care needs do not fit within these constraints, leading to a poor patient experience and frustrated practitioners. Instead, patients need personalized levels of care throughout their journey,” writes Doug Grapski, Senior Digital Strategy Manager in the digital perspective How to Fix the Surgical Experience.

Phase 1 of Surgical Concierge started in January this year at pilot sites Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Providence Center for Hip & Knee Replacement and Providence Orthopedics & Sports Medicine – Spokane. Phase 1 relies on virtual visits (including Zoom) and Twistle to simply guide you through preparation tasks and post-op care following surgery.

Technology simplifies the surgical process

Web-enabled consultation forms let you input your information, request a visit and receive a call to schedule an appointment. Zoom doctor appointments provide a secure, convenient and easy way to conduct pre-and post-op online medical visits that connect you with your care team. Twistle uses automated pathways to guide you through each step of your surgery and keep you connected with your care team via text messaging. Education and information are distributed through patient-focused websites.

Over time, the Surgical Concierge will incorporate additional digital tools to further enhance and simplify the surgical process within the Providence and Swedish care teams. Initial results from Phase I are expected soon.

As health systems increasingly become online transaction-ready, it is time to think about the patient care journey more holistically. The benefits of bundling these services benefits not only the patient but the entire healthcare ecosystem.

“Digital can play a growing and increasingly vital role in surgical episodes by connecting patients to a specialty service line suited to their condition, navigating patients to the right provider with appointment capacity, guiding patients through preparatory steps, selecting the optimal surgical and post-operative site of care and facilitating care delivery through virtual channels or connected devices,” writes Grapski. "As health systems increasingly become online transaction-ready, it is time to think about the patient care journey more holistically. The benefits of bundling these services and assets together in a personalized digital platform where patients can engage throughout the care journey benefits not only the patient but the entire healthcare ecosystem."

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Find a doctor

The Providence Innovation Group offers a Digital Perspective on fixing the surgical experience in its Resource Center. See how we’re transforming healthcare to improve the services that are readily available to our patients. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can access a full range of healthcare services. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

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