Teamwork generates better outcomes for joint replacement patients at IU Health Saxony Hospital

Every Friday morning at 7 a.m., a team of 20 people meets at Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital to discuss each patient who is scheduled for joint replacement surgery the next week. Anyone in contact with the patients is asked to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to get everyone on the same page with patients’ needs and preferences, minimize risks, improve the quality of care and help patients go home sooner. 

It’s a healthcare model that helps set the hospital apart nationally. IU Health Saxony has the eighth-lowest rate of readmissions, and the sixth best length-of-stay index among hospitals affiliated with University HealthSystem Consortium.

Getting healthcare providers to work together closely pays off for joint replacement patients. “There’s less errors, there’s less confusion. So the patients are ready to go home faster,” says R. Michael Meneghini, MD, an orthopedic surgeon who serves as director of the joint replacement program at IU Health Saxony Hospital. 

The hospital’s coordinated care model is featured in a recent Indianapolis Business Journal article that describes the program’s efficiency and patient outcomes, both of which are considered important for controlling healthcare spending under the Affordable Care Act.

Shorter hospital stays, fewer surgical delays and revisions, and smart choices of orthopedic implants and tools at IU Health Saxony Hospital have an obvious cost-saving benefit, but Meneghini says they’re also better for patients.

“So much of medicine has always been doctor-centric or hospital-centric,” says Meneghini in the IBJ article. “We’re trying to flip it around and make it about the patient, who is the customer. That’s a paradigm shift.”

To schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at IU Health Saxony Hospital, call 317-944-9400.

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