Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital is changing the way patients and their families think about and experience hip and knee replacement surgery with the introduction of its newly opened Sentara OrthoJoint Center®.

New concept in hip and knee replacements introduced

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Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital is changing the way patients and their families think about and experience hip and knee replacement surgery with the introduction of its newly opened Sentara OrthoJoint Center®.

This comprehensive program is based on a national best practice model and structured around the fundamental principle of wellness.

"This is not your typical hip and knee replacement surgery hospital stay," according to orthopedic surgeon, Mesfin R. Shibeshi, D.O.  Dr. Shibeshi - along with a team of orthopedic surgeons, administrative staff and orthopedic patient navigator Shannon Brown, RN - has implemented this program at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital to improve outcomes and provide a superior experience for individuals having hip or knee replacement surgery.

"It is important to recognize that we do not see these patients as being sick," Dr. Shibeshi explained. "Alternatively, we look at these patients as healthy people who are coming to us because they have hip or knee pain, and want to improve their quality of life by undergoing joint replacement surgery."

This concept of wellness is at the forefront during the entire program, which incorporates the most advanced minimally invasive, advanced analgesic and rapid-recovery surgical techniques. The program’s patient environment enhances and maximizes patient recovery through pre-op education, a culture of early mobility, family involvement and group interaction.

The Sentara OrthoJoint Center® Experience  

The Sentara OrthoJoint Center experience begins in the physician’s office. Once someone decides to have joint replacement surgery, he or she is provided with a comprehensive guidebook, explaining the upcoming surgery and a list of activities, including pre-operative strengthening exercises they need to begin prior to surgery. This guidebook also serves as a clinical diary which the patient brings to pre-operative class, all appointments, and the hospital.  

Each patient chooses a coach – usually a family member or loved one – who is an active participant in their loved one’s care before, during and after discharge from the hospital. Both patient and coach are required to attend a pre-operative class one to two weeks prior to surgery. They meet their Sentara OrthoJoint Center team, learn more detail about their procedure and what to expect in the hospital, as well as and how to care for oneself after discharge. The orthopedic patient navigator oversees the patient’s entire stay and is their resource before, during and after discharge. Coaches, who wear a special coach’s badge, learn the program right along with their loved one, and provide encouragement and support every step of the way. The fundamental concept of wellness is also carried through the individual’s stay in the hospital, post-surgery. Patients do not wear hospital gowns, but rather are expected to bring comfortable clothes which they wear during the day.

Patients follow an aggressive daily schedule that begins at 6 a.m. on the morning after surgery. Each day, patients receive newsletters that are specific to their particular surgery, letting them know what is on the agenda for the day, along with providing tips on how to care for themselves. Two group therapy sessions are held daily – one in the morning and a second in the afternoon – in a large therapy gym. Group lunches with fellow patients and staff also take place in the Sentara OrthoJoint Center.

Motivational posters are located throughout the halls and an exercise tracking board provides a guide for patients to track their success. Patients compete with one another on distance walked each day. All progress is tracked using magnets on this exercise board that is located in a common area. This provides visual reinforcement of goals met each day. Patients find this camaraderie both challenging and rewarding.

Heading Home:Care Doesn’t End at the Hospital

Care doesn’t end after discharge or graduation. Graduates receive calls from the Sentara OrthoJoint Center staff within 72 hours of discharge, and again one to two weeks later. Reunions for Sentara OrthoJoint Center graduates and their coaches are held quarterly with surgeons and their entire team.

The End Result: Superior Outcomes

According to national best practice studies, the result of this new approach to surgery is less pain, quicker recovery and superior outcomes.

"We evaluate each patient on multiple clinical, functional and patient satisfaction criteria," explains Chris A. Lumsden, president of Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. "These outcomes are then analyzed during monthly performance improvement team meetings and enable Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital to become masters of teamwork. So, when we say we offer superior outcomes, we have the data to prove it."