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Hoag Orthopedic Credits Physician-Patient Interaction for Low Readmission Rates

?Physician-patient interaction and patient engagement prior to surgery have resulted in dramatically low readmission rates for hip and knee replacement surgeries at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI), according to Sopida Andronaco, RN, director of performance improvement and clinical outcomes at HOI.

Andronaco told PNN that HOI physicians have been actively focusing on solving the problem of patient engagement, and physicians continue to work side by side with nurses to revise protocols, as well as closely monitor individual readmission rates. “Better outcomes for patients has always been the goal of our physician leadership,” said Andronaco, “but it takes physicians being engaged in the performance improvement process and willing to listen to the quality department.”
To that end, physicians at HOI decided to focus on patient education prior to the surgery. All surgeons now take time to talk to their patients and encourage patients to take a joint replacement class so they can become active participants and be engaged in the process from the beginning.
“As patients have given us feedback the class has improved tremendously,” Andronaco said. “They tell us what they want to hear, what they are most afraid of. This is not something you can do if you simply play a video. You can not expect the patient to get the same result and the same level of engagement they get from live interaction. You have to put it back on the patient, and you have to have physicians actively involved,” said Andronaco.
In a prior interview with PNN, Dr. Robert Gorab, chief medical officer, said he also attributes the lower rates of readmissions to adopted policies that help prevent infection rates before, during and after surgeries: The hospital screens patients 25 to 30 days before surgery for MRSA bacteria, and every patient needs to be cleared before surgery.
A for-profit, physician-owned Institute, HOI opened in November 2010. It performed approximately 55% of the hip and knee replacements in Orange County last year. According to the data recently published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), readmission rates from October 2012 to October 2013 for total hip replacement (THA) and total knee replacement (TKA) at HOI were 1.4% compared to Orange County’s aggregated rate of 3.3% and California’s 4.3%.
All-cause readmission rates at HOI are 2.9% compared to the region’s 17.7% and California’s 18.4%.
To view the original Physician News Network article, please click here.