Healing professional athletes & weekend warriors — Dr. Timothy Kremchek on Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

One of the driving forces behind Cincinnati-based Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Timothy Kremchek, MD, is a sports medicine expert who lends his expertise to both professional athletes and weekend warriors. 

In the first of a two-part series, Dr. Kremchek explains Beacon's comprehensive care model and shares the five key concepts the Beacon team uses to ensure patients receive top-of-the-line care. 

Note: Responses were edited for style and content. 

Question: What was the decision-making process behind developing a comprehensive care model? 

Dr. Timothy Kremchek: We literally built Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with the patient in mind. Understanding a [patient's] busy lifestyle, providing one-stop care shows our sensitivity to each patient's needs. So when we constructed our flagship building, we wanted it to have plenty of character, promote healthy lifestyles, and show our commitment to getting each and every patient effectively back to their sport or work as fast as possible. 

We are proud to be a destination for athletes from all over the country who seek the best sports and orthopedic medical treatment. [As] the official provider for the Cincinnati Reds for the last 23 years, we have earned the reputation of taking great care of high-level athletes. However, that care [goes beyond just] the locker room. My firsthand experience led me to realize we needed everything in-house, just like the pros do to help get players back on the field as quickly as possible. We added physicians who treat subspecialties [like] foot and ankle and hand and spine. We added imaging services, physical therapy and an on-site surgery center. Our comprehensive approach makes us unique among most orthopedic practices in the country, and these added services have benefited all our patients because they are also treated like professional athletes. 

One of my greatest joys is when patients come back, whether they be MLB [players] like Pete Rose, Johnny Bench [or] Joe Morgan, or they're non-professional athletes, like the weekend warrior or student athlete, who we've [also] been able to keep active and successful. This wide footprint of successful care makes me very proud.

Q: What's worked well in your practice that other orthopedic practices can adopt?

TK: Over the years, we have tweaked our practice consistently to find an optimal balance central to our stellar patient satisfaction and operational success. Here are five categories that we embrace:

  • We prioritize convenience: That includes where we're located, how to get to our offices, how to schedule appointments and where to go after you’ve been seen. For example, we've added X-ray, MRI, physical therapy and surgery services all in-house, under one roof. 
  • We focus on patient experience: The goal is to make that experience simple, smooth and seamless. For example, at our facilities patients can go from their clinic appointment to the durable medical equipment department for bracing and equipment, to physical therapy departments, and even [to the] imaging department to get diagnostic MRIs or X-rays, without going outdoors — let alone another location. 
  • We offer cross-referral capabilities: We empower physicians of different specialties (including foot, ankle and spine) to cross-refer, helping our doctors provide specific and expedient care to our patients. Sometimes, we're even able to do these referrals same day, sending patients down the hall to be seen by a specific specialist. This [level of] treatment has been wildly successful in our practice. Our goal is to get our patients back in the game as quickly and safely as possible, whether that game is on a field or back [into] their office. 
  • Our in-house imaging department contributes to the overall success of our wider practice: [This department helps us schedule and read MRIs the same day] in our MRI center. [Our musculoskeletal radiologists] can also evaluate MRIs sent from other facilities. Our physicians can ask the radiologists questions, get answers and thoroughly review the results with the patient, all in real time. 
  • Our operating room suites are state-of-the-art: Each has a viewing room for the patient's family to watch a procedure directly through a floor-to-ceiling window. There are also TVs in the room for open procedures and monitors that show what the surgeon is seeing [during] arthroscopic care. We provide viewing room attendants who explain to the family what the surgeon is doing and seeing. These practices allow us to be completely transparent in our treatment methods, help patients feel more confident, and help ease the anxiety of other family members. 

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