by Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | January 21, 2013
Intralign, a new health care consulting services company that got off the ground on Dec. 31, 2012, aims to help hospitals move toward more value-based delivery models — something hospitals are being forced to align with under health care reform.
"Hospitals have to increase efficiencies in the operating room especially," Lars Thording, vice president of marketing and public affairs at Intralign, told DOTmed News.
The new company, comprising former Stryker Sustainability Solutions executives including Thording, made a strategic decision to focus specifically on knee and hip replacements, an area in the OR that's experiencing growth and at the same time straining federal health care costs, according to Thording.
"When you look at knee and hip surgery, the money is really spent during the intra-operative process," he said. "This is when the hip or knee is actually being implanted in the OR by a surgeon."
One part of Intralign's intra-operative services solution includes trained professionals known as Surgical First Assists who provide clinical support to the surgeon. Not only do these clinicians help surgeons improve quality, said Thording, but they are also there to help with utilization decisions like figuring out what types of implants and disposables to use.
"That helps reduce waste in the OR and also reduce time of surgery," said Thording. "That means you can handle more patients without sacrificing quality."
Ideally, this kind of clinical support is combined with analytics and processes — part of Intralign's business model — designed to help hospitals improve quality and transition from traditional fee-for-service care to reimbursements based on performance and quality.