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ExplORer Surgical CEO Jennifer Fried breaks down its tech implementation process, shares thoughts on hospital vulnerabilities

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August 16, 2018

Written by Staff | Originally posted on Becker's Hospital Review  | June 07, 2018

In this special Speaker Series, Becker's Healthcare caught up with Jennifer Fried, CEO and co-founder of ExplORer Surgical.

Ms. Fried will speak on a panel during the Becker's Hospital Review 4th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference titled "Chicago Companies Leading the Way in Hospital IT Innovation," at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Learn more about the event and register to attend in Chicago.

Question: How does your organization gain physician buy-in when it is implementing a new technology or solution? 

Jennifer Fried: We use a phased implementation process at ExplORer Surgical — you cannot implement a new technology solution across an entire organization overnight. We identify a small area to start using our solution, as small as one physician and one procedure, to get started and work closely with their clinical and administrative teams to make each step of the process successful.

For us, that means coming into [operating rooms] with surgeons and their teams to observe procedures and having our implementation team set up and run our technology live in the room from the early stages of working together and before a contract is signed. We are able to develop relationships with the clinicians in the room and show the value and fit of our technology from the beginning, allowing the clinicians to be our champions as we move forward in a process. Physicians don't want new technology solutions to be pushed onto them but rather to pick the technology solutions that work best in their setting of care delivery.

Q: What do you see as the most vulnerable part of a hospital's business? 

JF: The OR and the procedural suites. These rooms represent more than half of the typical hospital's revenue and costs and are the single biggest driving factor of profitability — yet, there is no granular, accurate, real-time data around what is happening in these rooms. With the average hospital running on low single-digit margins, hospitals cannot continue to afford this lack of transparency around their biggest money maker — or potential money loser. Our research has shown that on average, hospitals are opening and throwing away $200 to $300 worth of disposable items per case without knowing it because it is not easily tracked in their EMR. There is tremendous opportunity to create a new dataset around intra-operative activity, [but there is] equal vulnerability in the current variability of activity and lack of data.

Q: What's the best thing you've read lately? 

JF: I read the book A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard, who does a phenomenal job of telling his stories over a decade as a paramedic. I spend most of my time in hospitals in the OR and procedural suites — usually for planned procedures — [but] loved learning about the front lines of care responding to emergencies. His stories are gripping and provide an important perspective about what happens after that 911 call is placed.


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