EPIOM: Transforming the Standard for Patient Care
healthcaretechoutlook

EPIOM: Transforming the Standard for Patient Care

Imagine an intense operating room (OR). A surgeon is performing a high-risk brain surgery on a patient. The anesthesiologist present in the OR is keeping a constant check on the patient’s vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and body temperature to ensure that no medical complications occur during the surgery. However, all of a sudden, the anesthesiologist notices a rapid surge in the patient’s blood pressure that wasn’t anticipated. Although the anesthesiologist was prompt to address this to the surgeon, the severity of the fluctuation could not be arrested in time. This unforeseen change of vitals led to additional hours in the OR. The scenario leads us to one question: “Could the incident have been averted or could surgeons have gauged this situation some other way?”

With the help of EPIOM’s intraoperative monitoring (IOM) service, the answer is yes! Founded in 2003 by an audiologist, EPIOM, a Joint Commission-certified organization offers multi-modality intraoperative services for various surgical procedures within the orthopedic, neurologic, ENT, and cardiovascular surgical domains. The company’s forte, however, lies in providing high-quality intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring (IONM) services. Chris Bledsoe M.D., president and CEO of EPIOM, says, “We are a team of highly-trained professionals with a mission to provide the highest quality healthcare intraoperative neural monitoring services in all of South Texas.” The company’s technologists have national certification and their interpreting physicians (MD/DO) are trained in the latest techniques of intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring. Today, EPIOM’s IONM services, which are compliant with medical standards such as HIPAA, allow for better evaluation of cerebral functions and treat patients faster.

Talking in-depth about intraoperative complications, Bledsoe mentions, “Intraoperative complications, unfortunately, are a common occurrence in the healthcare landscape. For years, surgeons performing a procedure only had a few methods to determine whether a complication has occurred during surgery.” Anesthesiologists could either ‘wake’ the patient slightly during surgery to test his/her nerve function or wait until the end of the procedure, and then monitor the patient’s post-surgical vital levels. However, the development of IONM in the early 1930s completely changed this situation. IONM, which uses electrophysiological methods like electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG), allows trained technologists to monitor patients’ neurological function in real time during surgery, enabling timely interventions, intraoperatively. This drastically reduces the occurrence of post-op incidents such as paralysis, muscle weakness, sensory deficits, hearing loss, and other neurologic deficits.

Improving Surgical Outcomes with Unmatched Insights

Currently, EPIOM offers monitoring services for craniotomy, procedures on extracranial and intracranial arteries, interventional procedures such as endovascular chemotherapy, cranial and peripheral nerve procedures, and spinal procedures.

“Through these IONM services, we provide healthcare institutions with affordable evidence-based and data-driven insights that reduce the probability of a complication during surgery,” mentions Bledsoe. For each procedure, EPIOM’s clinical team works with the surgical team to tailor a specific monitoring strategy that provides comprehensive coverage of the neural structures at risk. EPIOM’s board-certified supervising neurologists work with the anesthesiologists in the OR to collect data on IONM modalities such as motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs). And, in case there is a change in the value of the vitals during the procedure, EPIOM’s team immediately alerts the surgical team. In this way, EPIOM allows surgeons to intervene promptly to mitigate healthcare complications that may otherwise go undetected until after completion of the operation.

We are a team of highly-trained professionals with a mission to provide the highest quality healthcare intraoperative neural monitoring services in all of South Texas

That being said, what truly sets EPIOM apart in the IONM service market is their undivided attention toward value-based patient care. As a part of this service, prior to an operation, EPIOM’s technologists, meet with the patient to discuss the risks and benefits associated with neuromonitoring. “The patient is asked to sign a consent form, a copy of which is added to their hospital chart,” informs Bledsoe. At the end of the surgery, a comprehensive report is generated and sent to the hospital’s records department as well as the surgeon’s office. The report includes professional insights for each IONM modality that was tested during the surgery. Any kind of complication noticed by the supervising physician during the operation is also highlighted in the report.

Dedicated to Continuous Innovation

Since its inception 16 years ago, EPIOM has partnered with numerous hospitals and surgeons to help them analyze critical information during surgeries. The company is currently affiliated with the Grace Institute of Neurophysiology, an accredited neurodiagnostic program. “Our partnership educates a new generation of technologists and prepares them for a professional career in surgical neuromonitoring,” asserts Bledsoe. Recently, EPIOM acquired the exclusive health trust GPO contract, which the company believes will help expand EPIOM’s IONM services across healthcare facilities in the U.S.

With a vision to lead the intraoperative neural monitoring industry, the company is planning on ramping up its breadth of services, enhancing their patient-centric focus, and improving the clinical research and education while expanding the firm’s geographic reach. In order to achieve this, EPIOM has assembled the clinical expertise and organizational capabilities needed to provide excellence in care and reliable service, with managed cost efficiency. The firm is also working on building new surgeon relationships to branch out its IONM services across the U.S. With its commitment to ensuring improved surgical outcomes, EPIOM is on the right track to bring the best of IONM service in the days to come.