SANTA MONICA, CA – The surgery had been scheduled two weeks in advance. In the days leading up to it, the members of the surgical team had exchanged a flurry of emails, text messages, and phone calls. The scheduler had advised the team of the date and time of the operation. The medical device rep had delivered the implant required for the procedure. The materials manager had requisitioned everything the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and OR nurse would need.
By the day of the surgery, each member of the team had spent hours in careful preparation. But after the patient had been anesthetized and the incision had been made, the surgeon discovered that the wrong implant had been delivered. Somewhere in the many emails, text messages, and phone calls, a single miscommunication had occurred that would force the team to reschedule the operation.
“It was in situations like that where I saw there was a problem with surgery coordination,” said Gavin Fabian, a former product manager at a prominent medical device company and the current CEO of Casetabs, a California-based digital health startup. “There were communication issues that affected the entire surgical team.”
Issues that Fabian decided to do something about. Alongside Hunter Wagner, a surgery center operations director who had encountered similar problems, Fabian began developing his company’s signature product, Casetabs, a cloud-based project management tool designed to improve communication between the members of surgical teams.
Streamlining Surgical Care
According to Fabian, in the days leading up to an operation, a surgical team will generally share information by phone or email, with nurses and administrators recording important details on whiteboards and sticky notes. This process can be difficult to manage, with the scheduler often having to individually notify each member of the team when changes are made.
“For the most part, it works,” said Fabian. “But even when it works, it‘s incredibly time consuming and stressful for the people involved with the surgery, which can impact business costs, job satisfaction, and patient care.”
Casetabs streamlines this process by providing surgical teams with an online platform for case communication. After accessing the application through a smartphone or computer, team members can review all of the relevant information about a procedure and receive the latest updates in real-time.
“Let’s say the case time changes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m,” Fabian said. “The minute that change is made – which takes two clicks in Casetabs – the entire surgical team, from the anesthesiologist to the materials manager, receives a text or email notification.”
When Casetabs is first implemented, only the lead scheduler and the materials manager have to be trained to use the platform, with the other members of the surgical team required to do no more than log in to receive updates. A month after the software has been installed, the company implements its clinical workflow solution, which displays the status of each surgical case currently in-progress on fifty-inch TV screens placed throughout the surgery center.
Coordinating the World’s Surgeries
Since its launch in early 2015, Casetabs has been implemented in over 20 surgery centers throughout the US, where it has been used to coordinate more than 50,000 surgeries. According to Fabian, his company’s software has significantly decreased the time it takes clients to coordinate their cases, leading to notable reductions in operational costs and surgical errors.
“By taking our users’ needs into account over hundreds of iterations, we’ve designed a product that improves both patient outcomes and our client’s bottom line,” said Fabian. “We’ve built an application that adds value and that people want, and now it’s a matter of sharing this technology with more centers.”
Recent developments have enhanced the company’s chances of doing so. On August 16th, Casetabs announced the completion of a $2.6 million Series A fundraise, which will allow it to invest in further growth.
“The Series A funding gives our company the resources we need to expand Casetabs into the broader surgery center market,” Fabian explained. “In our mission to help coordinate the world’s surgeries, this was an important milestone for us and we’re excited for what’s ahead.”