Health+Benefits BrokerTech Ventures Partner Content

Elevating the Standard of Surgical Care

Enhanced surgical pathways fast-track employees to recovery.
By Brand Newland Posted on July 13, 2020

One day after undergoing a colorectal operation to remove cancer, the patient was up and about and asking to go home, the surgeon reported. How? A typical patient would still be groggy at this point, the surgeon knew, slow moving and settling in for what would likely be a week-long stay in the hospital.

That more typical experience, in fact, played out the very next day, in the same hospital, with a different surgeon performing a similar procedure. A large surgical wound, a mound of opioid pain medication and a long road to recovery resulted.

The difference? The first patient had received care according to a clinically-validated Enhanced Surgical Pathway. The second patient had received the decades-old approach to surgery.

“What if these patients had known?” That was what my co-founder of Goldfinch Health, John Greenwood, wondered.

“What if they understood they had just played the lottery? One won. The other, unfortunately, didn’t.”

What those patients had been exposed to is a difficult truth in the American healthcare system. Not all providers are created equal.

In the field of surgery, over the last decade advanced, innovative providers have separated themselves from their peers by implementing minimally-invasive surgery as part of broader Enhanced Surgical Pathways. Such protocols can take many forms and include interventions before, during and after surgery. Known as Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) in the medical field, these pathways first emerged in Europe over a decade ago. Since then, over four thousand journal articles have been published demonstrating the benefits to this approach across nearly every procedure type.

Surgeons, anesthesiologists and surgical teams have come together across disciplines to implement these care pathways in countries around the world, including the United States. But they have done so sporadically. One 2019 survey estimated adoption in outpatient surgery at just 5%.

In the field of surgery, over the last decade advanced, innovative providers have separated themselves from their peers by implementing minimally-invasive surgery as part of broader Enhanced Surgical Pathways.

Inspired by the potential for these clinically-validated surgical pathways to transform healthcare, John Greenwood and I founded Goldfinch Health in 2018. The mission: to dramatically elevate the standard of surgical care. More simply: to remove the “I wish I had known” from surgery.

Goldfinch Health now offers a revolutionary new employee benefit that works within existing insurance networks to help ensure people never receive a suboptimal surgery. The Goldfinch Surgery Experience is different from other solutions in three ways:

  1. Access to Enhanced Surgical Pathways fast-tracks employees to recovery, minimizes the need for opioids and lowers the risk of infection and reoperation.
  2. Guidance from a Goldfinch Nurse Navigator safeguards employees and ensures there are NO “I wish I had knowns” throughout the surgery and recovery process.
  3. A focus on patient outcomes that matter. Saved Days in returning people to work and life is the primary metric of success.

Goldfinch’s clinically-validated approach has resulted in:

  • 30% shorter hospital stays
  • 50% fewer complications
  • Up to 90% less opioid use
  • And recoveries shortened by over one month

The company helps to get people to the right place in the healthcare system for high-quality care. Then, Goldfinch sets them up to get out and back to their normal lives as soon as possible. This is always right for people, but it is especially right during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Goldfinch Health would not be where it is today without the investment of time, money and mentoring of BrokerTech Ventures, its 13 participating brokerage firms, and dozens of employee benefits and insurance experts who have engaged with the company and its founders through the first cohort experience,” says Greenwood. “The BTV program has led Goldfinch to opportunities in new markets not previously considered as well as many beneficial relationships sure to bring value to the company for many years to come.”

For more information, please visit

Brand Newland is the co-founder and CEO of Goldfinch Health.

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