How Geisinger's Musculoskeletal Institute is bolstering the patient experience

Paige Haeffele -  

Physical therapy, pain management and orthopedics are often treated as separate departments, and providers at Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute are approaching musculoskeletal care in a different way: using cross-department collaboration to create a plan of care that focuses on what's most important — the patient. 

In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, Michael Suk, MD, the chief physician officer of Geisinger System Services, chair of Geisinger's Musculoskeletal Institute and a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, shares three crucial tenets health systems can use to provide patients with the most holistic care possible.

1. Creating a replicable experience that patients will value

Care that is tailored to the patient requires that physicians fully include the patient in their plan of care. Active listening, proper patient education on treatment plans and treating the patient as an individual are key to providing exceptional care that will foster great physician-patient relationships.

2. Offering bundled payments, showing commitment to providing affordable, quality care

Bundling services involved in care and finding a set cost for a patient eases the financial stress associated with treatment. Partnering with vendors to make risk-share agreements puts physicians in a position to stand behind their procedures, with promises of quality from each individual vendor in the supply chain. This puts patients at ease by showing that their team is confident in every part of the treatment process. 

3. Using patient-reported outcomes to accurately evaluate patient experience

Geisinger recognizes that patient-reported outcome measures are invaluable tools to identify best practices, create realistic patient expectations and get patients the best possible outcomes from their care. The data collected can ensure that future care even further exceeds patients' expectations.

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