Monday, March 31, 2014

Here are some Hey Clinic Guests We've Just Seen Back Recently.....

Nikki, our nursing student who had scoliosis surgery with us 3 months ago sent us this note and video of her doing a cart-wheel this weekend!
6:31 PM (2 hours ago)
to me
3 months post op!

Thanks so much!


Jarrian, and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis postop patient tells his story last week at Hey Clinic!

Is there any hope for adults with severe kyphosiscoliosis?

7 weeks postop from L4-Iliac wing instrumentation and fusion seen this past Friday at Hey Clinic with big smile!!

Emma, 6 weeks postop from complex adult scoliosis reconstruction shares her story before and after surgery

"Curved Inspirations" Marcia Delbarone Book Interview -- out on YouTube

Here is my interview with Marcia Delbarone this past Friday, discussing her new book, "Curved Inspirations, which I wrote about last night in the blog.   Hopefully Marcia's shared journey will be helpful for other families facing the life-long effects of scoliosis, for either teens, younger adults, or middle and older-age adults.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New book "Curved Inspirations" is released by Marcia Delbarone, regarding lessons learned from her journey through adolescent and adult scoliosis

At the end of clinic on Friday, I got a chance to sit down with Marcia Delbarone, who just published a book entitled "Curved Inspirations."  In this book, Marcia shares her life's journey through adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with bracing, then the progression of pain and deformity in young adulthood, through scoliosis surgery in her late 40's and recovery.  She is now about 4-5 years out from her scoliosis surgery with me, and has really started a new "chapter" of her life since then, with better self-image, better quality of life including being set free from her increasing pain, and the ability to be very active again, including running (and winning!) a half marathon recently.

Below is a short YouTube video of our interview we recorded this past Friday discussing her book and her journey through scoliosis.   This book may prove to be a help for parents with adolescents with scoliosis understanding the potential long-term consequences of scoliosis and kyphosis, with the great importance of keeping an eye on the curves even after growth is completed.  It is likely also a helpful book for adult patients with idiopathic scoliosis and/or degenerative scoliosis facing the potential decision for surgery, who need to weigh the quality of life, self-image/posture and curve progression factors in order to make a good choice for themselves.

 Great job on the book Marcia!!  Thanks for coming into Hey Clinic and sharing with us!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Living with Kyphosis for 25 years -- and now a few weeks postop. John shares how kyphosis surgery helped his quality of life and pain.

March 10, 2014
Dr. Hey,

Thanks for forwarding the picture.  I'm still getting used to my new height!  I want to thank you and your entire staff for how professionally and compassionately both Sheri and I have been treated throughout this journey.  I know I have several more months before full recovery, but I am very thankful to God for my progress to date.  I am also thankful for the support of my wife - who pointed me in your direction some six-years ago when you gave a public seminar at Duke Raleigh.  I believe God's hand was involved in connecting us. The fact that you are a fellow Electrical Engineer cemented for me that you were the "right man for the job".  I appreciate your conservative approach to care - not rushing to a surgical solution.  I was able to delay surgery for a long time with physical therapy, careful monitoring, and taking care of my core and spine.  I am thankful for the surgical advances made by you and your peers over the past 25-years that I have been living with Kyphosis.  I look forward to my 6-month visit and sharing my continued progress with you and your team.


John gave his permission to share this with our blog readers after his recent postop visit at Hey Clinic. He had a very painful 88 degree progressive kyphosis, and actually had chronic bruising over his spinous processes over his mid-thoracic area preop.  His curve was quite stiff during surgery, requiring multiple osteotomies, and some extra finesse to get him straightened up nicely so his kyphosis is now in the normal range, as shown in the photograph.

Thanks for sharing, John, and wishing you a wonderful spring to enjoy your new posture and new quality of life!

Dr. Lloyd Hey -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery  --

Friday, March 7, 2014

Hey Clinic's Custom Electronic Health Record / Quality Control System In the News!

Is a DIY EMR right for your practice?

Lloyd Hey, MD
For physicians with an eye on quality control and a mind toward specificity, building your own EMR would seem a perfect fit.
Not only does documentation get tailored to the precise needs of a practice’s workforce within such an EMR, but the shaping of the system falls to the physicians and office personnel themselves. In other words, those who know their practice best get to design it for success, according to Lloyd Hey, MD, a practitioner for the Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery in Raleigh, N.C.
For Hey — whose clinic employed do-it yourself (DIY) software FileMaker (a division of Apple) to develop its EMR solution known as Aqueduct — being able to design the conveyor belt that sustains this natural information flow has proven invaluable. But just like Rome, Aqueduct wasn’t built in a day and it takes a certain type of practice and practitioner to keep it thriving.
Medical Practice Insider Associate Editor Madelyn Kearns recently spoke with Hey about the challenges and essences behind the do-it-yourself EMR, a phenomenon that continues to pique physician interest nationwide as compliance pressures heat up.
Q: What initially appealed to you about the DIY approach to electronic medical records?
A: I couldn’t find a system out there that did everything I wanted. When I actually tried to use an EMR vendor and then use a billing vendor, even though they both promised me "these things will work together," it turned out that they didn’t. And the big picture that I’ve been striving for is continuous quality improvement. Basically, I wanted the system to improve as we learn and when you buy something off the shelf, it’s sort of like buying a brick — it is what it is. You can submit a request for a change but it may take years for them to fill it, whereas if we build it ourselves, we can tweak it and keep making it better every week.
Q: What was your primary focus in building Aqueduct?
A: In any organization, especially in healthcare, there’s a natural flow of information that needs to happen. It starts when patients find us on the web and send an appointment request or ask a question. And that turns into an appointment being assigned and then the actual arrival. Once data moves along from one step to another, we constantly refine the error-checking to make sure we get the data in right the first time.
Q: For what type of practice do you think DIY EMR is a good fit?
A:  What you have to think about is whether the EMR can help your practice work more efficiently and compete better because your quality is going to be much higher. Quality is an important factor in attracting patients and insurance companies. You should also consider whether you really want to do constant quality improvement — if an error occurs in your practice one week, would you like to be able to have that fixed so it never happens again? We do absolutely everything on our FileMaker Aqueduct system, including printing up consent forms, and you never have to put information in twice and you never have to write anything out. Rather than having to adapt to your system, why not have your system optimized to adapt to you and your practice?
Q: What recommendations would you give to practices that implement a DIY system?
A: I strongly suggest physicians have a weekly quality meeting with their staff where they go over patient care issues, quality issues and then errors that come up. Get all employees and all associates involved in the process because everybody can contribute. Each of the people on my team can leverage their own creativity and learning and actually see the fruit of that come out with a better system. Everybody feels like we’re in a practice that’s always moving forward, that’s always improving, and we stop the mistakes from happening next time. It gives me great confidence at the end of that quality meeting to know that those new changes are going to take effect not in three years, but next week. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

How do you define real success as a scoliosis surgeon?

.... well I'll tell you how you know when you've really made it as a scoliosis surgeon:  When a 10 yo young lady tells you less than 14 hours after finishing her scoliosis surgery that she's named her new big stuffed dog "Lloyd" after you!  And my PA also obviously has hit the big leagues since Emma named her new bunny "Rachel"!!

Emma herself has already hit the super big-leagues at age 10, just finishing a several day starring role in "Les Miserables" at the RBC Center.  She actually timed her scoliosis surgery to fall just after this series of performances, so she could recover in time to try out for her next show -- The Little Mermaid!!   (I wonder which part she will be going for there? -- hmmm)Well, I was very surprised to learn from one of my executive patients from downtown Raleigh that I actually got a "shout out" in the Les Miserables program, which is shown below...

... "Thanks to her family, Apex Elementary teachers and Dr. Hey for their love, guidance and support."

Super cool.  Emma did great with her surgery and spent a few nights at the WakeMed Raleigh Children's Hospital, where she received awesome care.  She came in crooked and went home quite straight without bracing for her Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS) which was rapidly progressing.  We were able to fix her scoliosis with one definitive surgery rather than a series of surgery with growing rods or Shilla technique, and got a very nice correction.  She is showing you with her hand in picture at top how straight she is now!

Get well soon Emma and say "Hi" to Lloyd the dog and Rachel the Rabbit for me.

In other news:  did minimally invasive microsurgical discectomy on  Tara, a vet student from southern Pennsylvania, and was able to get her transported back and forth Thursday, surgery Friday, home visiting her folks in Raleigh Saturday, and flown home early Sunday morning pain free.  She was psyched!  What is interesting is I just did microdiscectomy on her little brother (not really little, just younger, who is a varsity lacrosse player from NJ just about 2 months ago, and she got disc herniation at same level.  Their dad, an executive in Raleigh, NC had similar problem I fixed  a few months ago as well!  Must be some bad disc genes there somewhere.  Now everyone is good to go and dad and Tara are now psyched about flying!

Just rolled out Epic at our Duke Raleigh Hospital today, and I did a big 75 degree scoliosis on a lady with history of unfortunate brain injury as a teenager, leading to spasticity and severe progressive deformity.  Surgery went well.  Epic was a bit of a challenge but overall went well with lots of helpful hands on site. In long run it will be a good thing.

Time for sleep and Scheuermann's kyphosis and spondylolisthesis surgery tomorrow.  Hopefully roads won't be to icy in AM.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

(Emma and her parents gave permission for me to share her photo with us and her program)