Orthopaedic surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital now offer outpatient partial knee replacement and outpatient total hip replacement surgery, allowing patients to return home on the same day as their surgery.
To make the same-day joint replacement service possible, nurses must work closely with other members of the multidisciplinary medical team to care for patients from the time they are admitted for surgery in the morning until they are discharged early in the evening. The challenge is getting everything done quickly to ensure the patient is fully prepared to go home at the end of the day.
Carli Giacchino, BSN, RN, describes the process, saying, “The patients come to us from the PACU and we have to do a whole admission assessment on them in a short amount of time so that they can eat and physical therapy can come in to work with them. As soon as they pass physical therapy, we start the discharge process.”
Giacchino says its efficient teamwork that makes it all possible. “We have a great team. When things get busy, everyone is willing to jump in and help. Our colleagues in physical therapy and the orthopaedic nurse practitioners are all part of the process. We all work together really well to make sure the patient gets the care they need in order to be discharged that same day,” she says. “It’s pretty amazing to see. These patients come in for a joint replacement and they are doing great. They are eating, walking and feeling good in a matter of hours after their surgery.”