Issue: May 2006
May 01, 2006
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The business of orthopedics

Issue: May 2006
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Douglas W. Jackson [photo] --- Douglas W. Jackson, Chief Medical Editor

Orthopedics Today has watched the increasing interest in coverage of the practical, nonclinical information surgeons need to know to deliver quality orthopedic care. Because both our readers and members of our editorial board tell us that we should include more such information in our pages, the time has come to formalize our expanding role.

Orthopedics Today has served as an orthopedic scientific newspaper. We have tried within this format to present those things an orthopedist is most interested in reading or may become interested in reading. Over the years we have brought our readers key developing medical trends in the specialty and in practice patterns, and we have also covered the latest advances in technology.

The mission expands

In addition to these stories we also always try to present the latest thinking by recognized leaders in each field to help place the news and views we offer in perspective. By reading Orthopedics Today, busy orthopedists have a quick-read publication to help keep them up on what is happening, and a reliable source for interpreting new data and for comparing the latest trends to what has gone before. We try to give you information that challenges your thinking and stimulates you to pursue certain topics further. And we always try to provide the sources that allow you to go beyond our executive summary treatment if you wish.

Over the years, and particularly while I have been in this position, our practice management and health policy coverage has steadily expanded. We have an excellent section of editorial advisors dedicated to assist us as changes and new developments in this area occur. Stuart Hirsch, MD, section editor, the section members and other experts will be writing even more then they have in the past on health policy, patient and practice issues.

The time has come

In addition to all that we have been doing in this area, with this issue we are introducing a new monthly round table dedicated to “The Business of Orthopedics.” Going forward we will include a round table on practice management topics you care most about in each edition, along with our regular round table covering various aspects of the science of orthopedics. Look for even more change in the months ahead as we enhance our practice management coverage to assist you in the decisions and changes you will consider to keep your practice intact. Our goal is to provide the information you may need and benefit from in a way that is most valuable — and accessible — to orthopedic surgeons.

In keeping with our mission, Orthopedics Today has moved from being solely a monthly print publication to bringing you daily the most important orthopedic news and insights on our Web site (ORTHOSuperSite.com) — or on your PDA. Our Web site also offers a comprehensive archive of past articles, including those from our sister publication in orthopedics, to place an entire electronic orthopedic database at your fingertips.

Change imposed from outside

I know a few readers will say we should stick strictly to the science of orthopedics. But as one of you, who is meeting the challenges of delivering quality care and technology to my patients every day, I believe that if I don’t pay attention to the business aspects of health care delivery I will have a harder time over the next three to five years caring for my patients the way I love to practice.

And so it begins. In this issue we offer our first symposium — “Controlling Implant Costs.”

It is by design that we are starting with round table participants other than orthopedic surgeon experts. In the future we will have many round tables where we can talk to each other as fellow surgeons. However, it is also our goal to bring some outside thinking into our inner circle that will stimulate readers, and hopefully get them more involved in the dialogue and in the changes that so often are imposed from outside. In this first round table we can read some thought-provoking ideas for controlling implant costs from the perspective of senior health care executives — including a hospital CFO and supply chain directors — who will serve up some practical suggestions.

We want to make sure our readership is benefiting from what we feel is a timely broadening of our mission. So, as always, we welcome your letters to the editor with criticisms, suggestions and support (editor@orthosupersite.com). Our first round table on “The Business of Orthopedics” begins on page 78.