Outpatient Total Joint Replacement

Research Brief

Outpatient total joint replacement has recently emerged as a topic of heated discussion in orthopedics research. A small but growing number of physicians are performing total joint replacement (TJR) surgeries on an outpatient basis, discharging patients within 24 hours of their operation.

If outpatient TJR could be performed on a large scale, this change would have far-reaching implications for hospitals, which might lose profitable joint replacement volumes to ambulatory surgery centers and physician private practices.

However, Advisory Board research suggests that outpatient total joint replacement is currently taking place on an extremely limited scale and is unlikely to occur on a widespread basis for the foreseeable future. Because only a small percentage of patients are potential candidates for a hospital stay below 24 hours, few institutions will be able to develop dedicated programs for outpatient joint replacement.

Nevertheless, shortening length of stay (LOS) for joint replacement remains a key imperative for hospitals, and many institutions are working to lower average LOS below three days.

Learn more by downloading the full research brief.

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