Delaware Health Information Network

Spine surgeon brings personalized care to patients: Electronic health records key to future health savings

(Dec 13, 2012) Lewes, DE – A spine specialist has joined Cape Orthopaedics in Lewes, where he says he plans to help patients take the initiative to achieve good health.

Dr. Ronald Wisneski joined the practice in October after relocating here from Ohio.

Wisneski said the practice operates under the P-4 principles – personalized care, predictive treatments, participatory service and preventative action.

By personalizing the care to each patient, Wisneski said doctors can provide an individualized approach. Predictive treatments can look at genetics and predict the likelihood of diseases, while participatory service allows doctors to serve as healthcare educator, advisors and facilitators.

Preventative action can mean a patient changes habits or actions before a major problem or injury occurs.

“We want to take the initiative to improve our patient’s health,” Wisneski said. “I want my patients doing age-specific exercises, improving body mechanics and posture and taking action to prevent ongoing impairment.”

Photo by: Rachel Swick Mavity

Future of healthcare

Wisneski said he is impressed with healthcare in Delaware because it is the first state to have an electronic database for healthcare records.

“The Delaware Health Information Network is a centralized database of all patients that have received care at Delaware facilities,” Wisneski said. “It is the first of its kind and we now have more than 95 percent of all doctors participating.”

Wisneski said the system reduces costs both for patients and for doctors because it makes healthcare records portable. By having electronic records in a database, doctors do not need to run the same tests for a patient who has moved or is being treated by a different physician.

“It cuts down on duplicate treatments and tests,” Wisneski said. “The system puts Delaware 10 to 20 years ahead of other states.”

Wisneski said he was impressed by Cape Orthopaedics because of its many goals for the future, including working with the Affordable Care Act to bundle payments for patients.

“We want to drive value for our patients,” Wisneski said. “We look at all ways to minimize costs while delivering quality care.”

While some voice concerns that the electronic age has put doctors behind computers instead of directly interacting with patients, Wisneski said he believes electronic healthcare systems will actually allow doctors to interact more.

Before the electronic system, each nurse or doctor had to enter information during each visit. With the system, Wisneski said doctors should already have most of the information, which gives then more time to talk to and touch the patient.

Education is key

Originally from Shamokin, Pa., Wisneski, 61, said he wanted to move to the Cape Region because of the opportunity to work with Beebe Medical Center and because it is close to family living in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

He and his wife are looking to buy a home in the Lewes area. This summer, the couple renewed their vows standing in the water at Cape Henlopen State Park. The couple has four grown daughters.

A graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine, Wisneski has specialized in spine disorders, including disc disease, stenosis, pinched nerves and spinal cord syndromes.

Enticed to visit the region by one of his former students, Dr. Mark Boytim, who works at Cape Orthopaedics, Wisneski said the opportunity came at the right time.

In the past, Wisneski was drawn to teaching hospitals like The Ohio State University Medical Center and The University of Arizona where he was a professor and chief of spinal surgery. But, Wisneski said he felt his philosophy of quality, individualized care would fit right in with healthcare providers at Beebe Medical Center.

“Beebe is a well-run regional hospital with wonderful personnel and resources,” he said.

Wisneski has also worked for the Charity Spine Surgery Mission in Ismailia, Egypt, and as associate spine surgeon at both Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. and The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Cape Orthopaedics serves residents from adolescence through their golden years. For more information, call 302-645-2805.

Lending a hand in Africa

Dr. Ronald Wisneski knows that helping patients locally is just as important as helping those who are less fortunate.

As one of the three members on the Spine Africa Project board of directors, Wisneski makes yearly trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help doctors and patients there. He has worked closely with medical leaders at the world-renowned Panzi Hospital to improve education, training and knowledge of spine injuries.

According to the Spine Africa website, physical injuries, specifically spine-related injuries have begun to proliferate at a staggering rate, and have been afflicting men, women and children.

“The goal of the project is to bring care to people who have nothing compared to what’s available in the United States,” Wisneski said. “In February I will be going back to Africa to help set up a tele-medicine clinic.”

The new clinic will allow medical professionals in Africa to connect with surgeons in the U.S. via the internet.

“This will allow doctors to talk and get advice on problem cases,” he said. “The best thing we can do for Africans is to provide education.”

The project is setting up a medical school in partnership with Panzi Hospital to educate new doctors.

Working closely with both the hospitals and medical education facilities, Wisneski plans to implement a spine-based education program that will allow the local medical personnel to both properly triage and treat those afflicted with a broad spectrum of orthopaedic and spinal disorders.

“I’ve always had an interest in the philanthropic side of medicine,” Wisneski said.

For more information on Spine Africa, go to

Source: Cape; Author: Rachel Swick Mavity;


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