Dr. Raju Ghate says efficiency and focus are key to value-based care

Dr. Raju Ghate

Dr. Raju Ghate is one of the most respected Orthopedic Surgeons in Illinois. After his successful private practice was acquired, he joined NorthShore Medical Group at the NorthShore Skokie Hospital. That facility recently transitioned into the Orthopaedic and Spine Institute, an innovative and highly-specialized hospital. Dr. Ghate recently joined us via phone to discuss the biggest changes he’s seen in healthcare recently, the role of technology in surgical planning, and how focusing a hospital’s efforts can lead to efficiency and savings.

[This interview was edited for clarity and length.]

What areas of healthcare do you think are most in need of change right now?

Dr. Raju Ghate: We don’t use technology, such as digital assistants, as well as we could. For example, if you went in and you had knee pain, and your doctor was able to send you your diagnosis on your phone. Then with that diagnosis, they send you videos of the therapy you’re supposed to do. And then this digital assistant would check in with you in four weeks and say, ‘How’s your knee pain? Did the therapy help?’ If it didn’t help [the patient], that would then trigger the digital assistant to make them another appointment to come back in.

What does value-based care mean to you?

Dr. Raju Ghate: What it means to me is what we’re doing in NorthShore. We’ve taken a hospital, and we’ve turned it into an orthopedic hospital, which is an efficient place to work because everyone’s doing the same thing. It makes it so from a cost standpoint, institutionally, a more efficient place to do things.

I think that’s the trend that institutions need to follow, and I’m happy that we’re on the front end of that. Being able to focus everything at one place allows you to do that well because your staff, your nurses, your surgical technicians, even the housekeeping staff all know what they’re doing.

What gets you excited about the future of orthopedics?

Dr. Raju Ghate: Technology’s coming in the operating room. We’re using a lot of 3D-printing in the operating room.

If you’re having your knee replaced in my practice, you get an MRI three or four weeks beforehand. We then interact with that MRI in a digital platform to plan your surgery. Then we hit print and two pieces of plastic print and tell me how to put your new knee in and where it should go.

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