A PATIENT-CENTRED PATHWAY DRAMATICALLY REDUCES LENGTH OF STAY AND IMPROVES OUTCOMES IN PRIMARY JOINT REPLACEMENT IN A SAFE WAY
Journal: Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, British Volume
Summary: This study of 1000 patients demonstrates how you can dramatically reduce hospital length of stay, improve clinical outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction if a patient-centred pathway approach is adopted.Introduction: This study evaluates the effect of adopting a patient-centred approach on clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency. By adopting standardised working practices, dramatic changes can be achieved to reduce patient length of stay (LOS) and consequently surgical capacity.Methods: We prospectively studied the first 1000 patients who followed the new pathway (549 Total Knee Replacements, 20 Unicondylar Knee Replacements, 384 Total Hip Replacements and 47 Hip resurfacings). The pathway included an enhanced pre-assessment process. Admission dates were mutually agreed and a predicted discharge date of 4 days was provided. All patients attended a pre-operative education session. Patients were admitted on the day of surgery and followed an intensive physiotherapy program. The surgeons, surgical techniques, and discharge criteria all remained unchanged.Results: The average length of stay was 4.1 days (St Dev 1.8). 80% of patients went home on or before day 4 post-operatively. This was accompanied by a decreased re-admission rate (1.8%), low complication rates for both hip replacement (Dislocation rate = 0.93%) and knee replacement (Knee MUA = 0.87%) and no cases of deep infection. Pre-operative patient reported outcome measures (WOMAC, SF-12 and Oxford) all improved post-operatively (P<0.0001) and qualitative data from patients was extremely positive towards the new pathway.Discussion: The decrease in LOS was dramatic and highly clinically significant. The mean LOS for patients prior to commencing this new pathway was 7.5 days (St Dev 5.7). High patient satisfaction rates indicate that by adopting a patient-centred approach, significant decreases to LOS can be achieved alongside improving the quality of care with a low complication and readmission rate.
Preferred by: Tom Wainwright