Preventing Never Events with Richard Vazquez
Richard Vazquez is the CEO of SafeStart Medical. SafeStart Medical is a healthcare IT company that is composed of partnership surgeons, healthcare experts, and engineers specializing in the development, distribution and marketing of innovative surgical safety and efficiency applications.
In this episode of MedStreet Journal, Richard shares their vision and goal as they currently and actively work to innovate in the world of surgical operations to smooth the workflows, create operating efficiencies, enhance patients’ safety, and increase patients’ satisfaction.
“We’re still concerned with, from a surgeon’s viewpoint: The very first thing you wanna do is get the right patient, get the right operation, get the correct side and start out right. If you can’t start out right, you can’t finish right.” [06:47]
Who is Richard Vazquez? [00:59]
Richard Vazquez is a general surgeon by trade and finished his residency in 1974. He practiced being a general surgeon in small community hospitals and was invited to join the faculty of Northwestern and operated in several surgery centers nearby. After having this vast experience in the field, he’s decided to create a much larger impact by starting SafeStart that addresses the opportunities he noticed during his practicing stint.
Opportunities observed throughout being a general surgeon. [3:08]
According to Richard, the field of surgery is no different from any other professional discipline. He said that the gap between different agencies wasn’t talking to each other and wasn’t sharing information, there’s communication errors. This can be a real opportunity when the patients and different healthcare agencies are unfamiliar to what’s going to happen - it can result in patient harm and mistakes especially in areas of patients’ safety.
What is a Never Event? [05:13]
Never Event mainly revolves around patient’s safety and optimizing every part of the workflow that the surgeon and the patient has to go to. One example scenario is preventing situations like missing consent forms signed by the patient or healthcare forms misplaced which is highly critical for both the surgeons and their patients.
How does SafeStart help bridge the gap of transitions? [12:51]
There are so many moving points and pieces in the process of getting an action done whether it be MRI scans, radiotherapy, surgeries, etc. Richard said that this is prone to human-error. SafeStart provides one area for everyone, from the patient, clinic facilities, to the surgeon, where they can easily pull the data needed. This will help everyone start out right.
What is the long term value of SafeStart and how can they help the patient’s journey? [22:51]
As per Richard, Safestart has some ideas how to make substantial improvement in the process that people haven’t started to use or thought about yet. There already are drawing boards right now which makes the patient safer and much more comfortable. Consequently, these would make healthcare staff happy too. Richard made a point that people don’t come to work to make mistakes, hence helping patients to ease their healthcare journey makes a happy staff. It is a two-way road where everyone would benefit.
Richard answers the rapid-fire round of questions. [28:57]