Working to ensure a great experience in joint replacement

Ongoing communication with our patients helps us to refine our processes to better meet their needs and ensure that they have a great experience during their joint replacement journey.

Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center Joint Replacement TeamAt Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, our joint replacement surgeons actively participate in education, research and publication, with nearly 50 publications amongst them covering a wide range of topics.

As a group, we have presented nearly 100 educational sessions and posters for local, state, national and international audiences. Our physicians also actively participate in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) and the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. Dr. Kim Chillag is a member of the editorial review board for the Journal of Arthroplasty and reviews articles for Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research; Dr. Frank Voss serves as chair of the AAHKS Practice Management Committee, AAOS representative to the AMA CPT Committee, member of the AAHKS Health Policy Committee and AAOS Committee on Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement. All four of our fellowship-trained joint replacement surgeons are Fellows of the AAOS.

Research initiatives

Palmetto Health Richland, in collaboration with the Palmetto Health Quality Collaborative, recently participated in the inaugural Joint Replacement Learning Community (JRLC) with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Harvard Business School. The JRLC consisted of a cohort of 32 joint replacement programs from across the U.S. as well as international groups who focused on providing high quality, cost effective care for hip and knee replacement patients.

The subspecialty has performed in-depth reviews of the processes involved in a joint replacement surgery, beginning with the visit to the surgeon’s office, preparation for surgery, the surgery itself and the patient’s rehabilitation. The 32 JRLC programs shared processes and best practices so that, as a combined group were able to determine what would be the ideal processes for a successful joint replacement program. Improvements were made to the office processes, the hospital and post-discharge. Through this project costs were decreased, processes streamlined to ensure that our patients have excellent outcomes and a great experience.

Results from this review have now been applied across the entire hospital system, and projects have been established to look at joint replacement patient reported outcomes. This information initially is gathered when the patient and surgeon decide that joint replacement is the right treatment for that patient’s condition and then several months after surgery the same questions are asked again. This ongoing communication with our patients will help us to refine our processes to better meet their needs and ensure that they have a great experience during their joint replacement journey.