Joint Center Experience
The philosophy of the Joint Center of Excellence is unique. We support our patients with a wealth of educational materials and classes as well as unparalleled pre- and post-operative support. Our emphasis is teamwork.
Pre-Surgery—Teaching Patients What They Need To Know
Once the need for joint replacement has been ascertained, patients are introduced to Joint Center of Excellence at their physician's office and in pre-operative education classes. Here, physicians, the Joint Center of Excellence coordinator and care team members use a variety of tools to teach patients what the surgery is all about, how it will impact them and what their role will be in their own recovery. Every attempt is made to set realistic expectations, put patients at ease and improve their level of confidence.
Joint Center of Excellence Care Coordinator
The Joint Center of Excellence care coordinator plays a very special role in the process. He or she is the link between the patient, the physician and West Suburban Medical Center. In charge of Joint Center of Excellence's daily operations, the care coordinator takes the lead in guiding the patient through the orchestrated process that begins in the surgeon's office. Thanks to this process, patients and their families find they are active participants in the joint replacement and on a team with a common goal: recapturing the patient's quality of life.
A Patient Guidebook, which patients receive at their physician's office, is an important tool, providing key patient information and answering many patient questions. The Guidebook provides specific instructions issued by the surgeon and the Joint Center of Excellence care team. It covers what patients should do and should expect before surgery, while in the hospital, during the stay at Joint Center of Excellence and after discharge.
Patients are instructed to bring the Guidebook to the hospital and to Joint Center of Excellence to keep vital information at their fingertips. It is also a tool clinicians use to document patient progress during rehabilitation.
Joint Center of Excellence Coach
An integral component of the Joint Center of Excellence is having patients select a friend or family member to function as their coach. Coaches are trained throughout the entire process, side by side with patients. They provide moral support and encouragement every step of the way, contributing to rapid recovery.
The Joint Center of Excellence care team offers a two-hour pre-operative class in which patients and their coaches are instructed on pre-operative needs, introduced to the daily routine that will be expected of them on the unit and taught some pre-conditioning (strengthening) exercises to start before surgery in order to improve their outcomes. Discharge planning and preparing the home for safety, comfort and recovery of the patient are also covered here. The Joint Center of Excellence care team addresses many other pertinent issues, such as performing post-surgery strengthening exercises, dealing with post-operative complications and bringing in assistive devices for the home.
On Campus: Post-Surgery
The Joint Center of Excellence, where patients stay after surgery, is located on the 5th floor of West Suburban Medical Center in a fully remodeled space. All patient rooms are private, providing hip and knee replacement surgical patients an environment that is pleasant and conducive to healing. All group therapy, lunches and other activities take place on this special unit, led by a dedicated care team chosen for their expertise and motivational skills.
Important for efficiency, standardized processes—orders, protocols and daily patient routine—assist the team in delivering all aspects of care in organized, anticipated incremental steps while creating a supportive environment based on teamwork.
Activities include group physical therapy once a day in the Joint Center of Excellence gym and bi-weekly group lunches for patients, their families and staff. Patients and their families benefit from each other's camaraderie and support, which promotes faster healing and eliminates the "fear factor" associated with rehabilitation.
Daily Campus Newsletter
Each day, a different newsletter is delivered to patients' rooms, providing patients with a list of daily activities, expectations and tips on caring for their new joints.
To assure faster recovery and better future mobility, it is vitally important that patients begin rehabilitation as quickly as possible. Consequently, patients already well prepared to begin the process—rise at 5:30 a.m. the day after surgery, dress in casual clothing and undergo their physical therapy evaluation as early as 8:00 a.m. They begin group physical therapy in the afternoon with a series of pumps, extensions and squeezes in a slow-paced aerobics class they can do in their orthopedic chairs. Family members and caregivers are encouraged to participate in these therapy sessions. This shared experience builds confidence and a support system, which contribute to successful outcomes. Coaches, whether spouses, significant others or friends, help "cheer lead" patients to rapid recovery.
Days Two and Three
Group physical therapy continues once a day, and coaches become deeply involved in the treatment. The group activities lend to a friendly competitive environment; patients, in trying to win over one another, score big wins for themselves. The competition continues outside of group therapy as patients try to walk further than their teammates each day. An "Architectural Tour Through Oak Park' ambulation board prominently displayed in a group area gives patients the opportunity to record their progress.
When patients and their coaches attend the discharge planning class, a nursing and the rehab care team educates them on post-op care. Patients and coaches are given a home exercise program designed to augment the strengthening and healing process. The discharge goal of Joint Center of Excellence is to have patients go directly home on post-operative day two or three and receive outpatient physical therapy or home health therapy.
West Suburban Medical Centers relationship with Joint Center of Excellence patients continues long after discharge. Continuing patient callbacks give Joint Center of Excellence staff the opportunity to monitor each patient's progress to assure the A+ patient experience continues long after the patient has left the campus. Continuous improvement is a goal at Joint Center of Excellence, and the measurement of patient outcomes is integral to our success as well as theirs.
Monthly reunion luncheons, a unique feature, give Joint Center of Excellence alumni an opportunity to reconnect with each other and share their progress.