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Education, Preparation Key to New Total Joint Replacement Program at Mid-Columbia Medical Center

Published on 2/22/2007
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      A new Total Joint Replacement (TJR) program launching this month at Mid-Columbia Medical Center will shorten hospital stays for patients, allow for quicker rehabilitation after surgery and increase community education efforts for those who may be considering the procedure.
      Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Greg Stanley (pictured) heads the new program and says its threefold goal is to maintain the current quality of TJR care at MCMC, ensure that patients who need replacement of joints including hips and knees are satisfied with their experience, and shorten hospital stays as required by stricter health insurance policies.
      "We know we have to get patients out of the hospital faster as mandated by insurance companies, but we refuse to bend on the quality of what we're doing," Dr. Stanley says. "We've chosen to attack this by creating our own program, called the Total Joint Excellence program, allowing us to maintain the quality of patient care while shortening the length of a patient's stay."
      There are several components to the new program, with much of the emphasis placed on education and preparation prior to a patient's arrival for joint replacement surgery. The new steps include:
  • A monthly community outreach program beginning Feb. 22 that provides an overview of the MCMC Total Joint Experience program, including information for those who may or may not know if they are candidates for surgery.
  • A pre-operative clinic providing "one-stop" service for groups of patients scheduled for surgery. The clinic will involve everything from obtaining any needed medical clearances to arranging for anesthesiology and reviewing laboratory tests.
  • A pre-procedure class that will educate patients on what to expect both when they arrive for surgery and afterward in terms of recovery and physical therapy.
  • An expedited hospital stay with "VIP service," with patients having dedicated rooms next to others who have undergone replacement surgery.
      "They're going to have physical therapy together and get started on a path of wellness and recovery," Dr. Stanley says. "It will be a little more group-oriented, with patients focusing on being healthy and getting better."
      With the patients working together on their progress and encouraging each other, the doctor said recovery from surgery should be a positive instead of a negative. "We'll be changing the thought process, hopefully," said Dr. Stanley.
      Total Joint Replacement techniques and technology are constantly improving, Dr. Stanley says, with surgeons at Mid-Columbia performing the procedures since the 1970s. Patients have more options than ever in deciding on a medical procedure that solves their problem in the least invasive way, he says, and demand for replacement is expected to increase as the "baby boomer" generation ages and patients want to continue today's more active lifestyles.
      "Our goal is to maintain excellent outcomes for patients and allow me to maintain the monitoring of the process, and I'm excited about it," Dr. Stanley said.
      Dr. Stanley is a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon at Cascade Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in The Dalles.
      The first community outreach meeting on the new Total Joint Experience program will be at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 22nd at the Planetree Health Resource Center, 200 E.  4th St, The Dalles, OR 97058.
      Pre-registration is recommended. Please call (541) 296-8444 for additional information, to learn more about future meetings or to reserve a seat. Handicap-accessible parking and entrance are at the rear of the building.

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