Outpatient Total Joints: It’s an Evolution

    Ashley Dentler, PT, DPT, CMLDT, CSCS, likens the development of an outpatient joint replacement program to starting a garden: It requires planning, building, and tending to reach the desired outcome.

    RELATED: Register for the 7th Annual ICJR South Hip & Knee Course

    During her presentation at ICJR’s Winter Hip & Knee Course, she described the evolution of the program at her institution, Vail Health in Edwards, Colorado, including how they built, planned, and continue to tend the program to reach their desired outcome of improved function for each patient. The program was developed from the patient’s perspective, she said, taking into account the 3 phases of joint replacement:

    • The preoperative phase includes medical clearance, insurance verification, postoperative disposition planning, and setting of patient expectations.
    • Efficiencies at the operating room phase are critically important and include ensuring experienced staff are available, consistent processes are followed, and the right equipment is available.
    • In the postoperative phase, nurses manage the first step, which includes medication tolerance, fluid and nutrition management, and sitting tolerance in the immediate postoperative period. The physical therapists then take over for step 2, assessing early mobility, ensuring care coordination, and making the final clearance for discharge.

    Dr. Dentler’s advice for developing an outpatient joint program is to:

    • Keep the patient’s perspective at the forefront
    • Make data actionable
    • Constantly explore areas of opportunity
    • Build and plan your system for your needs

    Click the image above to watch Dr. Dentler’s presentation and learn more about developing an outpatient joint program.


    Dr. Dentler has no disclosures relevant to this presentation.

    More from the session Enhanced Recovery & Outpatient Arthroplasty at ICJR’s Winter Hip & Knee Course:

    Selecting Patients for Outpatient Surgery: A Novel Scoring System, by R. Michael Meneghini, MD

    Preoperative Medical Evaluation for Outpatient Total Joints, by David A. Kuppersmith MD

    An 18-Year Experience with Outpatient Joint Replacement, by Richard A. Berger MD

    Outpatient Joint Replacement Can Be a Big Mistake! by Gwo-Chin Lee MD