Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute Achieves Success with New Total Joint Program

Norwalk Hospital
Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

DANBURY, Connecticut, October 25, 2018 — The Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute has launched a new Total Joint Program as part of our ongoing commitment to enhancing the patient experience and improving outcomes. The patient-centric Total Joint Program emphasizes standardization of care, patient and caregiver education, and early mobility. 

Danbury Hospital Total Joint Program Ambulation Board

In just the first two months of the program patient satisfaction scores have increased 12 percent. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of patients discharged to home versus a nursing facility; and, a decrease in the length of hospital stay so patients can heal in the comfort of their own homes after total joint replacement (TJR) surgery.

The Joint and Spine Institute incorporated a patient-centric destination model into the existing high quality care Danbury Hospital delivers to patients undergoing TJR. These improvements were launched thanks to a close collaboration between an administrative team and a multidisciplinary care team, including a patient navigator, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses at Danbury Hospital.

As a result of the innovative care they receive, many patients go home the next day after TJR surgery. Some patients opt for same-day TJR procedures and are able to go home within hours after surgery. The Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute coordinates with Western Connecticut Home Care, and other home health care organizations, so patients can convalesce safely in the comfort of their own homes. Studies show that patients have a better outcome when they go directly home after surgery, versus to a nursing home or short-term rehabilitation center.

“Through the Total Joint Program, we are achieving efficiencies and delivering even higher quality care with better outcomes,” said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Joint Replacement Specialist at Danbury Hospital. “At Danbury Hospital, we perform about 900 joint placements each year. The Total Joint Program is the result of our dedicated staff continually improving how we care for our total joint replacement patients. We are very excited to see that the program is proving to have a positive impact for our patients.”

Highlights of the Total Joint Program include:

A Dedicated Joint UnitClaire and Lisa, Total Joint Program Nurses

The Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute unit has 12 private patient rooms and a highly specialized team of nurses, physical therapists (PT), and occupational therapists (OT) dedicated to the care of TJR patients. 

A Culture of Wellness, Early Patient Mobility, and Group Support

  • Patients wear their own clothing rather than a hospital gown.
  • Patients are out of bed early in the morning, simulating a normal home schedule. They also participate in out-of-bed activities throughout the day.
  • The Daily Patient Routine integrates nursing, PT, and OT.
  • Group PT and an Ambulation Board titled “Sail On To Recovery” help track each patient’s progress and promote friendly competition. These recovery tactics have been proven to result in better outcomes. 
  • Caregivers and family members, or “coaches”, are included in therapy sessions to prepare them to assist in the patient’s recovery process. 

Patient Education

  • A patient navigator provides personalized guidance to patients and their coaches as they progress through the Total Joint Program. Katie Rivero, RN, Orthopedic Program Manager 
  • Patients and their coaches attend a group Pre-Op Seminar four weeks before surgery so they know what to expect. Studies show that patients who are more prepared for surgery report a better experience and outcome.
  • Patients are registered for Recovery Coach, a digital app that helps inform and prepare them for surgery with timely notifications, education modules, and reminders. They also have access to a guidebook to educate and coordinate care both pre- and post-surgery.
  • During their stay at the Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute, patients receive a daily newsletter to set expectations for the day’s activities. 

Standardized Patient Care, Tailored for Individual Needs

Standardized post-op and discharge orders create a more efficient, effective, and safe method for delivery of care. However, the Total Joint Program staff recognizes that each patient is different, with their own specific concerns.

“We take care of the emotional and physical needs of each of our patients, while also incorporating standardization so they know exactly what to expect when they have joint replacement surgery at Danbury Hospital. From intake to discharge to recovery, a network of staff at Danbury Hospital and Western Connecticut Health Network provide an individual approach to each patient,” said Dr. Gupta.

Pain after surgery is one of the biggest concerns for patients undergoing TJR. The Total Joint Program incorporates advanced pain management therapies, including innovative medicines and nerve blocks. A joint replacement pain management team, which is led by an anesthesiologist, consults with each patient before, during, and after surgery.

About Joint Replacement at Danbury Hospital

The Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute earned the Center of Excellence designation from the Joint Commission for providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for hip, knee, shoulder, and ankle replacement. Our orthopedic surgeons are trained in less invasive techniques and the latest in pain management in order to provide safe, high quality care to all of our patients.

To learn more about the Danbury Hospital Joint and Spine Institute and new Total Joint Program, please visit our website.

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