Connecting Patients to Specialized Care

We’ve all done it – made a sudden, reactive movement to catch something that’s falling or about to fall, whether it’s a glass or a child. In Bobbi Chroninger’s case, that sudden movement left her with extreme shoulder pain. She walked over to see me – another benefit of being in a small town. I took one look at her shoulder and realized it was more than I could take care of in my Hilbert office so I referred her to ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus.

Located on the Appleton Medical Center campus, ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus brings together a variety of professionals from orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians to physical and occupational therapists who all work together to help patients. Depending on your concern – whether it’s chronic pain or an injury like Bobbi’s – the doctors and their staff will help you get started on the path of healing.

“Having the access to Orthopedics Plus was great,” Bobbi says. “Scott knew it was something he couldn’t help me with and just called over there and got me in.”

Orthopedic surgeon Eric Erickson, MD said the staff at ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus is focused on helping patients get the appropriate care.  Since we’re all on the same electronic medical record system, he could view Bobbi’s medical history and what I had done when she came to see me.

“We’re fully integrated so we can see everything the primary care doctor has done and they can see what we do,” Dr. Erickson said. “The doctors can also contact our staff at any time to find out what’s going on or if they have questions.”

Dr. Erickson performed surgery on Bobbi in December. “I was glad Scott was able to follow what was happening by looking at the files online. It eliminated me having to tell him about it during other office visits,” said Bobbi, who is 37.

Dr. Erickson stressed there’s no cookie cutter approach when it comes to orthopedic care.

“We work to place the patient with the correct provider. Every patient is different and we understand their different needs and develop the right care plan for them,” he said. “We always communicate directly back with a patient’s primary care physician what our treatment plan is so everyone stays informed.”

Having access to orthopedic specialists as well as others in cardiology, cancer and more, is one of the benefits of being part of ThedaCare. We’re all connected and can view each other’s work and test results. It reduces duplication – if another doctor sees I have done a lab test, she doesn’t need to repeat it for example – and provides my patients with convenient access to specialists, who are less than 30 minutes away. Although I’m located in a small town, I’m happy I can offer my patients access to highly specialized care.

Scott Schuldes is a certified family nurse practitioner and associate medical director at ThedaCare Physicians-Hilbert. He can be reached at scott.schuldes@thedacare.org.