A Tale of Two Surgeries and a Mystery Solved

The Patient is the Center of Excellence: A Tale of Two Surgeries and a Mystery Solved

Several years ago, we learned a story of two patients, two surgeries, two dramatically different outcomes, and one mystery.

The first patient underwent a major surgical procedure to remove cancer from her colon. This patient either did her research, had good fortune on her side, or all of the above as she navigated surgery. In fact, she felt so good the day after her procedure she asked her surgeon if she could go home. She had no idea most patients in the hospital as an inpatient for one week or longer after this procedure!

The patient’s extraordinary status shocked even the surgeon. Taking a cautious approach, he asked that she stay in the hospital one additional day.

Long on energy and short on things to do that day, the patient called her friend several states away. She knew her friend had gone through a similar procedure and thought she would call to compare notes. The friend was shocked. She had experienced the other version of this procedure, the one that caused her to spend over one week in the hospital.

We heard this story. Then we heard another version of it with different patients and physicians. And another and another. Sometimes, it happened even at the same hospital on the same week. Why were their outcomes so divergent?

It turns out this better experience in surgery is not random at all. Enhanced Surgical Pathways (known as Enhanced Recovery After Surgery in the medical field)—inclusive of intensive nurse education, advocacy and support—are the result of over two decades of research. This 21st Century formula to better prepare patients for optimal surgery and recovery repeatedly demonstrates:

  • 30% shorter hospital stays
  • 50% fewer complications
  • Up to 90% less use of addictive opioid painkillers
  • Faster recovery
  • Happier patients

It works across a wide range of orthopedic, women’s health, cancer and other procedures. Yet, a 2019 survey found only 5% of surgeons in the United States deliver care according to these patient-empowering protocols.

Goldfinch Health set out to change this by creating a Surgery Concierge Program that combines personalized nurse navigation, patient advocacy, Enhanced Surgical Pathways, and leading-edge technology. This ensures patients have access to the best information, surgical approaches and, perhaps most important, support exactly where and when they need it.

The Patient is the Center of Excellence.

On average, Goldfinch-supported patients recover and return to work 32 days faster than the results “predicted” by national benchmark recovery database, MD Guidelines. Validation Institute reviewed data on 640 patients referred into the Goldfinch Health program. Reviewers confirmed in excess of $1.6 million in avoided costs related to faster return to work post-surgery and savings from the Goldfinch program of $7.70 for every $1 invested.

The mystery has been solved. That’s good news for all of us as patients, potential patients and caregivers. It’s good news for the bottom line as well.

To learn more or request a no-cost Surgery Quality Analysis, contact a Goldfinch Health representative here or by email (hello@goldfinchhealth.com).

Read Goldfinch Savings Validation Report HERE.

Originally published to the Validation Institute blog.