Samuel Gold, Technology Insights
A huge number of hospitals offer joint replacements because the aging population increases demand, there are few capital purchases needed, and reimbursement has been historically favorable.
In fact, approximately two thirds of acute care hospitals in the United States performed joint replacements in 2012. Therefore, the level of competition for joint replacement volumes is very high and with the low barrier to entry into this business, competition continues to grow.
As hospitals seek to gain a competitive edge in this elective arena, they have directed their attention towards programmatic changes designed to improve the patient experience during each stage of a joint replacement surgery.
Build a stronger patient experience with joint camps
Orthopedic administrators are attempting to improve the patient experience by focusing on the full joint replacement care pathway. The challenge for most planners lies in coordinating all the various providers and stages involved in a joint replacement.
A recent approach used by many hospitals to achieve this goal is to offer joint camps, a preoperative class that provides patient education and care pathway planning for joint replacement patients. This group environment offers hospitals an early opportunity to interact with patients, communicate a concerted message, and direct the remainder of the patients’ experience.
Thus, the patients feel more comfortable and confident leading up to their surgery. In addition, since the joint camp presents information relating to different stages of the patient care pathway—during which care is delivered by multiple providers—it also functions to better align the efforts of the surgeons, nurses, therapy staff, and administrators involved in joint replacement.
The result is a more clearly defined and efficiently delivered product. Studies report noticeable improvement in not only patient satisfaction, but also fall risk, length of stay, and rehabilitation timelines.
More on Joint Camps
For more information on joint camps, access our research brief, Joint Camps: Strengthening the Care Pathway with Preoperative Planning.
The article reviews the most important elements of joint camps including the information communicated, the best time and facilitator of these sessions, and the impact of offering preoperative care planning. Finally, case studies of hospitals successfully employing this strategy conclude the article.