The orthopedic surgeons, nurses and therapists at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth and Beaumont Bone & Joint Institute are changing the way patients and their families experience joint replacement surgery with the introduction of the Excellence in Joint Replacement program. This comprehensive surgery and recovery program is based on a national best practice model for hip and knee replacements, and structured around the fundamental principles of wellness.
“This is not your typical hospital program or hospital stay,” according to Todd Clarke, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on staff at CHRISTUS and Beaumont Bone & Joint. “We see our patients as healthy individuals who are coming to the hospital because they have hip or knee pain, and want to live a better quality of life by having joint replacement surgery.” A fundamental concept of wellness is executed throughout the entire program, which incorporates advanced, minimally invasive, analgesic, and rapid-recovery surgical techniques – with an environment that maximizes patient recovery through education, a culture of early mobility, family involvement, and group interaction.
Dr. Clarke, Wagdy Rizk, M.D., and Shawn Figari, M.D., are leading board-certified orthopedic surgeons who, along with the clinical and administrative team at St. Elizabeth, developed this innovative program to improve outcomes and provide a superior experience for individuals having hip or knee replacement surgery.
“An optimal and faster recovery is our goal,” said Dr. Rizk. “Each patient is evaluated according to multiple functional, clinical, and satisfaction criteria. Our program is designed to promote the highest outcome level for our patients. Our team meets regularly to analyze these outcomes and focus on consistently delivering the highest quality program possible, thereby providing our patients with an outstanding experience during their surgery and recovery process.”
The patients choose family members or friends as their coaches and, together, they are active participants in the care before, during and after discharge from the hospital. They start with a pre-operative class one to two weeks before to surgery, where they meet their care team and learn about the procedure, what to expect in the hospital, and how to care for oneself after discharge.
One person—a Care Coordinator—oversees the patient’s entire stay. All staff members at the Excellence in Joint Replacement program receive special training, and are chosen to work on the unit because of their expertise; positive, upbeat nature; and high motivational skills. The fundamental concept of wellness is also demonstrated throughout the individual’s stay in the hospital. Patients wear comfortable clothes—t-shirts, shorts, etc. They follow a well-defined daily schedule that begins at 6 a.m. the morning after surgery on a unit devoted to individuals having joint replacement surgery. The daily schedule includes two group therapy sessions and a walking path that encourages friendly competition among fellow patients.
Regular seminars are held to share the most common causes and latest treatment options for knee and hip pain.