Intralign, HSS Partner for Training

This article appears in the online journal Orthopedics This Week.
Mar 7, 2014
by Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.
Intralign, a specialty healthcare services provider, has announced it will partner with one of the world’s most respected orthopedic care providers, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), to develop a first-of-its-kind training curriculum for surgical first assistants (SFAs)—a clinical specialty comprised of surgeons, medical doctors, physician’s assistants and registered nurse first assists, that is in high demand to help provide better patient care. The educational program, operating as Intralign Academy, will teach the latest technologies and methodologies in orthopedic care, as well as best practices for increasing operational efficiency in the surgical suite.
“Surgical first assistants help surgeons focus on the highest-value care activities, which can ultimately increase surgical throughput. Despite their pivotal role in the OR, there are few continuing education opportunities for SFAs today in which the curriculum goes beyond clinical techniques to also train on best operational practices to address the changing realities of healthcare,” said Rick Ferreira, president and CEO of Intralign. “By leveraging real-world insights from the most sought-after experts in orthopedic care, we can enrich Intralign’s educational offering and provide the strongest possible competencies for SFAs in orthopedic and total joint replacement training. These skills will further enhance Intralign SFAs’ ability to deliver high-quality, consistent and professional assistance that allows a surgeon to do more with fewer resources.”
Intralign’s Intra-Operative Support service makes highly trained SFAs available to the hospital to function as a “surgeon extender,” a specially trained healthcare worker who performs tasks that might otherwise be performed by a surgeon. The advanced support SFAs provide help optimize the surgeon’s efficiency throughout the case, which reduces procedure time and enhances patient throughput.
As part of the current program, Intralign Academy offers clinical training in a variety of surgical specialties in addition to orthopedics, including surgical robotics. Professionals enrolled in Intralign Academy are educated on OR behavior, communication and optimal methods for creating OR efficiencies, in addition to clinical best practices, which equip them with the broadest perspectives to assist any surgeon in any environment.
Rick Ferreira told OTW, “Our curriculum development team will work with Hospital for Special Surgery leadership to identify new and evolving orthopedic surgery best practices to enhance the training that is already available for surgical first assistants through Intralign Academy,” said Ferreira. “This intelligence sharing will be an ongoing process to keep the training program grounded on the latest orthopedic care methodologies and surgical efficiency standards.”
Asked about how quality/success will be measured, Ferreira commented, “Success of our training program will ultimately be measured by increasing the number of healthcare facilities and providers that embrace the valuable role highly skilled surgeon extenders play in increasing surgical efficiency and bridging the pending surgeon shortage gap.”
Louis Shapiro, president and CEO of Hospital for Special Surgery, told OTW, “From a provider’s perspective, we believe the Intralign Academy will help elevate the level of clinical and operational support delivered to surgical teams to set new standards for surgical efficiency.”