U-M Health System Expands Pre/Post-Surgery ‘Boot Camp’

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The University of Michigan Health System and others will roll out the Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program, which focuses on wellness leading up to a surgery through recovery, to more than 12,500 surgery patients in Michigan starting this year.

The program aims to boost a patient’s physical ability and mindset before they begin their recovery. Based on the current program, which started about two years ago, participating patients have seen a savings of about $2,500 and have spent 30 percent less time in the hospital after surgery.

“It’s similar to how you or I would train for a 5K, focusing on exercise or nutrition,” says Dr. Michael Englesbe, principal investigator of MSHOP, which recently received a $6.4 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. “It usually takes about a month. Even if you’re in pretty lousy condition, (that’s enough time) to make a significant amount of headway.”

And like training for a race, it goes beyond just the race, or in this case, the surgery, Englesbe says. “Yes, part of it is going out there and running, but you get your sponsors and get your people rooting for you. So this program is a lot about training and getting the support group together. You get the family together to take (the future patient) for a walk at the mall and then make him a chicken dinner at home.

“And they will be there for the operation as well.”

In addition to training — which includes walking, lung exercises, nutrition, and stress reduction — the program uses a risk assessment tool, available on a smartphone app, to help physicians and patients determine if surgeries are appropriate, especially for elderly or frail patients, says June Sullivan, technology director of MSHOP.

MSHOP will use data patient-specific analytic morphomic data, created from data that exists in a patient’s diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans or X-rays, to determine frailty and fragility beyond a patient’s age.

“It allows us to really profile a patient’s risk,” Englesbe says. “We might say, ‘Well, Uncle Frank needs colon surgery and we know he’s 70 years old. But looking at his skin, he actually has a body of a 95-year-old person.’ And within that context, he should probably be treated as a 95-year-old guy.”

The program will start at the University of Michigan Health System before expanding to 40 hospitals throughout the state, says Dr. Darrell A. Campbell Jr., director of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative. “At this project’s conclusion, a field-tested and optimized model will be available for implementation across the country.”

For more information about MSHOP, a collaborative program between the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, and the University of Michigan, click here.

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