Effective January 2021, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Price Transparency Rule requires hospitals to display the price of their items and services publicly. This new law addresses a problem in the healthcare system that has long existed – the lack of transparent, unbiased information readily available to patients.
A sickness or infirmity is never an easy road to navigate. Certainly, the obscurity surrounding the medical experience and what to expect only adds to the trial. A new digital platform, PatientPartner, aims to add a sense of peace to surgical patients as they navigate their procedure. By pairing them with a “surgery mentor” who has been through the same surgery, PatientPartner empowers and educates future surgical patients. The goal is to help patients avoid any surprises along the journey to health and restoration.
To use the PatientPartner portal, surgical candidates can create a free account on the site within minutes. They will be prompted to answer a few questions that will give them access to a growing list of volunteer PatientPartners. After reviewing the most compatible profiles, patients are free to choose who they would like to connect with and schedule a call with them through the PatientPartner portal.
Once paired with their “surgery mentor,” patients are linked to an unbiased, relatable source who can serve as a guiding light through the surgical process. Questions can range anywhere from “do you recommend the surgery?” to “what is life after the surgery like?”
Before starting this new venture, Goerge Kramb, Co-founder and CEO of PatientPartner, worked many years as an aide in hospitals and operating rooms. Getting to talk to some of the patients as they prepared for the surgery brought him a striking revelation. He found that even as they were in the operating room, most patients were still very fearful and anxious about their surgery and hardly knew what to expect.
“Surgery alone can be terrifying. It’s especially disheartening though to see patients having to go through such a daunting experience while also carrying the anxiety that comes with the unknown,” says Kramb. “I wanted to create something that would give patients solace in a trying time. I wanted them to have support, not just from their friends and family, but from those who truly understood what they were going through.”
Relatability makes a world of difference, and that is what truly sets the PatientPartner platform apart from other pre-surgical resources. Doctors and surgeons can only give patients information and tips on what to expect based on statistics and scientific research. However, they will never be able to provide a first-hand account of what the surgery is like. Because they have never been in the patient’s shoes, they cannot speak to the internal fears nor can they give advice from an impartial viewpoint.
Furthermore, nowadays surgeons are being farther removed from the patient experience outside the actual surgery. “The time that surgeons are able to spend with their patients is going down every day,” said Patrick Frank, Co-founder and COO of PatientPartner. “The PatientPartner platform is a great way for surgical patients to get their questions answered by a credible person who knows exactly what it feels like to be on the other side of the knife,” he continued.
A PatientPartner is there to help their mentees with any concerns regarding the surgical process, both pre and post-surgery. They are also there to give their reviews and recommendations on hospitals and surgeons. PatientPartner volunteers are never compensated or incentivized for any of their services or suggestions on the platform. This helps ensure volunteers provide unbiased information with no motive other than genuinely wanting to help. As a thank you for their time and honest contribution, PatientPartner donates money to the charity of the volunteer’s choice. To date, they have donated thousands of dollars to charities through the platform.
The term “peaceful surgery” may have seemed like an oxymoron in the past, but PatientPartner is changing the script. With over 100 registered volunteers, they have already altered the surgical experience for hundreds of people undergoing bariatric, knee replacement, and hip replacement surgeries, to name a few. They will continue to rewrite what it’s like to undergo the potentially life-altering experience of surgery.
For more information, check out the PatientPartner platform here.
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