ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine and Pain is celebrating one year of making a huge impact on patient care. In its first year of operation, the center logged more than 60,000 patient clinic visits.
ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine and Pain (OSP) was designed to help care teams better understand patients, anticipating their health wants and needs. The facility opened its doors on July 25, 2022.
A Different Kind of Center
We are the only facility in the Fox Valley area that has orthopedics, sports medicine, spine specialists, physiatrists and pain doctors all under one roof.David Corso, Vice President of ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine and Pain
“We aimed to create a center of excellence, bringing orthopedic, spine and pain care all together,” says David Corso, Vice President of ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine and Pain.
Care teams provide a full range of orthopedic and spine care, including total joint replacement, arthroscopy, foot and ankle surgery, sports medicine, fracture care, spine surgery and procedures, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and pain management. Care options range from non-surgical treatments to complex surgeries.
To make care more convenient for patients, OSP offers ancillary services onsite. These include X-ray and MRI, labs, pharmacy, and physical and occupational therapy.
“We were purposeful in determining the design and services offered at OSP,” Corso says. “We are the only facility in the Fox Valley area that has orthopedics, sports medicine, spine specialists, physiatrists and pain doctors all under one roof.”
Corso emphasized that care at OSP is centered on the patient. The facility’s design allows for bringing services to the patient as much as possible.
“For example, when a patient comes for an office visit, if they need an X-ray, we have units just down the hall from the exam room, minimizing the movement of the patient,” Corso says. “If we need to perform phlebotomy services, like drawing blood, we do that in the exam room. If the patient needs a specific type of brace or casting, those specialists come to the exam room.”
Partnership with Neuroscience Group
ThedaCare partnered with Neuroscience Group of Neenah to bring together the needed team of medical experts to staff OSP. Neuroscience Group joins with ThedaCare in the ownership and operation of the outpatient services at OSP, while ThedaCare solely owns the hospital facilities.
“Neuroscience Group has been a proud to partner with ThedaCare for more than three decades,” says Steven Price, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Administrator for Neuroscience Group. “When leaders approached us to join in the development of OSP, we knew it would continue the strong partnership.”
Through the partnership, Neuroscience Group is the exclusive provider of spine surgery services and joins with ThedaCare physicians in providing pain management care. Neuroscience Group surgeons and pain management providers hold office hours and offer procedures at OSP. Services include conducting neuro-diagnostic studies and providing comprehensive care for patients.
“Neuroscience Group shares the same values as ThedaCare in that we want to do the right thing for our community. That means making sure we provide the full spectrum of services in a way that maintains the highest standards of quality and ethics,” Dr. Price says. “We provide the care that’s necessary to get patients back to doing what they love.”
In addition to the 60,000-plus office visits in the first year, ThedaCare and Neuroscience Group physicians performed more than 7,500 surgical or pain management procedures. And occupational and physical therapists provided more than 26,500 therapy sessions.
OSP’s therapy area has a pool for aquatic therapy. The space also offers multiple floor surfaces to help patients work through rehabilitation for various sports. That includes a basketball court, track surface and artificial turf.
“There’s also a pitching mound, and a net that comes down from the ceiling to allow therapists to rehabilitate patients playing baseball, softball, golf and lacrosse,” Corso says. “The variety of areas allows our teams to treat individuals so they can return to their passion.”
In addition, OSP offers a simulation home apartment. This allows therapists to work with patients after surgery to help them safely re-engage in activities of daily living.
The hospital imaging department performed more than 9,000 imaging tests in the past year, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds. OSP is the only ThedaCare location with a 3 Tesla MRI.
A 3T MRI offers higher-quality images and shorter scan times, Corso says. Not only does it provide better images, it also reduces scan times for patients. That’s particularly helpful for individuals who may not feel comfortable during an MRI.
ThedaCare Orthopedic Walk-In Care is also located at OSP. Patients can come in for orthopedic needs including fractures, sprains, pain, minor dislocations and swollen joints. At their first visit, they can have X-rays or other imaging taken, meet with a specialist provider, and receive an initial treatment, if recommended.
Providers also will arrange for follow-up care as needed. This can include pain management, physical therapy, a surgery consultation and other therapies.
Understanding the needs of communities led to expanding the walk-in care hours. The service is now available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on weekends.
“Most musculoskeletal injuries do not require an emergency department visit,” Corso says. “Having these patients come to our walk-in clinic relieves pressure on our local emergency departments, allowing those teams to care for emergencies such as heart attacks or strokes.”
Right Care for the Patient
It was forward-thinking for a health care system of our size to undertake this revolutionary approach to health care, and it has been a success.Dr. Josh Blomberg, ThedaCare Orthopedic Trauma Care Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Joshua Blomberg, an Orthopedic Trauma Care Physician and Surgeon, splits his time between OSP and the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah Trauma Center. He primarily provides fracture care, including surgery, at both facilities.
OSP represents an evolution in health care and puts ThedaCare into a category with other systems providing advanced care, Dr. Blomberg says.
“With OSP, we have a hospital and outpatient facility that provides focused care for orthopedic, spine and pain problems,” he says. “That narrow focus increases the quality and efficiency of care for the patient, from check-in to discharge, and all the treatments in between. It was forward-thinking for a health care system of our size to undertake this revolutionary approach to health care, and it has been a success.”
The care teams at OSP include fellowship-trained ThedaCare orthopedic, sports medicine, pain, and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, along with top-ranked Neuroscience Group physicians. In addition to creating an outstanding experience for patients and their families, OSP offers a more efficient work area for health care teams.
“When teams are dedicated to one aspect of medicine, they become experts,” Dr. Blomberg says. “When they’re working with the same surgeons, day-in and day-out, doing the same procedures, they get very good at it. They know what is best for the patient. It also extends the coordination behind the scenes with the care delivered during and after surgery.”
Throughout the first year of care at OSP, teams continued the commitment of getting patients back to doing what they love, as quickly and painlessly as possible. That dedication remains true for the future.
“Our teams are looking forward to year two at OSP,” Corso says. “We’re proud to play a role in ThedaCare’s mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities. We’ll continue to offer the right care, in the right place, for generations to come.”