The physicians at University Center for Ambulatory Surgery (UCAS) realize the importance of managing post-operative acute pain while minimizing opioid usage.
The surgery center had been utilizing a legacy pain relief device, until meeting with a team from Compression Solutions and Avanos to learn about the ambIT Electronic Pain Control System. This system is specifically designed for managing post-operative acute pain.
But as many surgery center administrators know, making a change has a ripple effect with pushback from nurses, doctors, and occasionally patients. However, when Susan Gurwitz, administrator at UCAS saw the benefits of switching to a new pain pump program.
“The biggest hurdle to overcome [when launching a new program] is time you need to make the change,” says Gurwitz. “Everyone gets so caught up in the day-to-day with the attitude of ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it.’ That mindset needs to change.”
But, Why Launch A New Program?
This surgery center isn’t a stranger to pain control devices, in fact, the facility prefers using any alternatives to opioids.
The ambIT Electronic Pain Control System provides intermittent non-narcotic medication delivery. This helps manage breakthrough pain without opioid prescriptions. The benefit of using this device with the Avanos + Compression Solutions partnership is access to the product as well as medical billing services and full onboarding support.
In addition to being an updated medical device with new features, utilizing Compression Solutions medical billing services was a massive cost saving to the surgery center. With more than 20 years experience in DME billing, Compression Solutions has a dedicated department staffed with medical billing and reimbursement specialists.
UCAS officially launched the ambIT+ program in June 2022 which has led to a $34,000 savings in just the first six months of this program.
How The New Program Was Implemented
Avanos Territory Manager, Allie Wisinski, was instrumental in implementing the new program. Wisinski worked alongside Chris Kwortnik, Compression Solutions key account manager, to begin to pitch the new program.
“UCAS has utilized continuous peripheral nerve blocks for over 8 years,” says Wisinski. “If there was a way to maintain or enhance the success of the program while also bringing savings to the center, that was a win for everyone. It became an opportunity to create cost savings and enhance patient care.”
With the familiarity of Avanos as well as pain control devices, Gurwitz wasn’t hesitant to begin to explore the idea further.
“The biggest concern for UCAS is patient involvement and having patients satisfied and making sure they are well educated on the device especially when it shows up on an insurance bill,” says Gurwitz.
Step 1 with implementing: education.
Educating All Staff
“It starts with the staff,” says Gurwitz. “Then the staff educates the patients.” With any change comes resistance and that is something Gurwitz was ready to face.
“Part of my success is the knowledge that change is going to happen and always to be ready for it,” says Gurwitz. “Roll it out to the staff and embrace the change or you will be left behind.”
The Compression Solutions and Avanos teams began working with Gurwitz to schedule education sessions for doctors, nurses, and anyone else that would help roll in the new program.
“We had a lot of multi-disciplinary meetings with nursing and physicians that were led by Kwortnik and me,” says Wisinski.
“We wanted to ensure that we had every piece of the puzzle worked out so that the transition would run as smoothly as possible. Chris and I were at the center daily during the first weeks of the conversion to Ambit to ensure we could handle anything that came up quickly and efficiently – we wanted the staff to see us as a resource for them throughout the transition.”
With the support from Kwortnik and Wisinski, the program faced less resistance.
“By week two, the staff was really coming around and seeing the upside of the new product,” says Wisinski. “We had done the legwork and it really made implementation easier.”
A Confident Decision
Gurwitz is pleased with the decision to move forward with the ambIT program. And, while it was initially met with resistance, it has been a positive change.
“It’s something the doctors believe in,” says Gurwitz. “They believe in this method and product for patients. It’s cost savings for the center and a better option for patients.”
While the product has been well received, it also functions well.
“The biggest thing for physicians is ensuring that we have an anesthesiologist on call that can answer questions for patients about the product,” says Gurwitz. “There haven’t been issues on the billing end of things or patients calling asking about the ambIT charge.”
So far, the transition has been smooth and beneficial for everyone involved.
“It turned out to be an easy transition with several tremendous upsides that made it worth consideration,” says Gurwitz.
While using the ambIT has worked well and the program has aided surgery center operation, for Gurwitz one of the most significant benefits is the people she has worked with in the onboarding process.
“The partnership of Allie and her team has been great, we work well together,” says Gurwitz. “The biggest part is customer service and it is a partnership in success and patient care and it takes precedence, in my mind, over the product. If the product isn’t going to work we won’t buy it. But we will pick the person that we trust. I commend her and she does a great job.”