Total Joint Team Wins Nursing Award

| Posted On Mar 08, 2017 | By:

Atrius Health’s Total Joint Replacement Program Improvement Team received a Gold Award for Nursing Team Achievement in the 2017 Modern Healthcare Excellence in Nursing Awards.

The team: (Back row, from left) Michael Costa, RN, BSN, associate nursing director of specialties, Atrius Health; Jacque Anderson, RN, referral center manager, VNA Care; Judy Walsh, MS, PT, director of rehabilitative services, VNA Care; Jim Noonan, LPN, nurse liaison, VNA Care; Gael Varsa, RN, BSN, manager of utilization management programs, Atrius Health; Karen Chirsky, RN, BSN, vice president of transitional care/business development, VNA Care; (Front row, from left) Karen Fitch, RN, BSN, nurse case manager, Atrius Health; Dorene Gillis, RN, BSN, utilization management coordinator, Atrius Health.

The total joint replacement program was developed to improve surgical outcomes, save costs and enhance patient satisfaction by allowing patients to recover from surgery in the familiarity and comfort of their own homes rather than in skilled-nursing facilities.

Once a patient is identified as a joint replacement candidate, one of our nurses works with the patient to discuss post-operative issues, alleviate fears or concerns, and set expectations to recover at home after the surgery. The nurse also pinpoints any barriers that could make recovering at home difficult and would disqualify the patient from the program and relates those issues to the home health team. VNA Care nurses and physical therapists then arrange a pre-operative home visit a couple of weeks ahead of surgery to identify and remove any barriers to a safe recovery and coach the patient about managing their own care. Once the surgery is complete and the patient is sent home, a physical therapist pays a home visit to start therapy and discuss post-op care within 24 hours.

Prior to the program’s launch in 2014, 66.8% of patients needing joint replacement required admission to a skilled nursing facility after surgery versus going home to recover. Since implementation of the program, the numbers have flipped, and now more than 2/3 of patients across our network go home directly from the hospital with home care coordination provided through our central nursing operation.

The program promotes a higher quality and lower cost of care for our patients, and just as important, patients are happier and cite a better patient experience overall.

Congratulations to the Total Joint Replacement Program Improvement Team!

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