Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Archive August 2020 XXI, No. 8

Should You Add Total Joints?

There's plenty of growth potential if you're prepared to meet the challenges of launching a program.

Greg DeConciliis

Greg DeConciliis, PA-C, CASC

BIO

HANDS ON
Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites
HANDS ON Skilled surgeons must be actively involved in the entire episode of care to ensure patients are prepared for same-day discharge and optimal outcomes.

When our surgery center launched its joint replacement program in 2017, we were the first freestanding ASC in Mass-achusetts to offer the procedures. Since then, interest in our program has grown among local surgeons and case volumes have steadily increased. This year, despite being shut down for several weeks during the COVID-19 outbreak, we'll perform between 100 and 150 procedures. We expect those numbers to continue to climb as more surgeons, insurers and patients learn more about the clinical and business benefits of sending joint replacement patients home the day of surgery. If you're thinking about taking part in the national movement of joint replacement cases to outpatient ORs, your answers to these key questions will determine if your facility is prepared to add the procedures.

Can you partner with the right surgeons?

Laying the foundation for success in outpatient total joints begins with working with interested surgeons who are committed to performing cases efficiently and have a proven track record of safety. The surgeons you partner with must also be willing to maintain a constant line of communication with patients and help guide them through the episode of care. They should expect to be more actively involved in all aspects of the patient's experience from the moment their cases are scheduled to the last post-op rehab appointment.

Joint replacement surgeons operating in acute care settings have not yet been able to experience the surgical efficiencies achieved in outpatient facilities that sports medicine and hand, foot and ankle surgeons have experienced for many years. They're beginning to realize they need to capitalize on the benefits of performing procedures in surgery centers, which offer dedicated surgical teams and the possibility of buying facility ownership shares. Outpatient joint replacement programs therefore help you recruit surgeons and grow your business with revenue-producing cases.

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