Dr. Turner Leads Total Joint Program
Bill Turner, MD, of Longview Orthopedic Associates saw a need to streamline and improve the process for patients undergoing knee and hip replacement procedures. Turner’s efforts led to the creation of the Joint Replacement Center, a coordinated effort involving LOA surgeons and St. John Medical Center. With Turner serving as the program’s medical director, the Joint Replacement Center has been a tremendous success.
“We knew some hospitals around the country were looking for ways to improve the patient experience along with clinical outcomes,” Turner said. “We wanted to be among them and to be among the first.”
Turner’s duties include the coordination of surgical, nursing, and rehab staff to build standardized practice guidelines. He also leads reviews of patient experiences, assists in the creation of an action plan for improvements, and provides updates to participating physicians and gathers their input.
Program coordinator Ashley Hawkes of SJMC said the effort to standardize protocols and coordinate care has paid dividends, in large part by reducing variability. “It creates a repeatable experience from patient to patient and makes our joint team members experts in performing these surgeries,” Hawkes said.
The program has evolved over the years. Instead of double occupancy rooms, patients now have private rooms. Also, every effort is made to coordinate with physical therapy staff who consult patients about recovery on the day of surgery. In addition, joint replacement discussions are offered to people who are considering the procedure.
As far as results are concerned, Hawkes said the data speaks for itself. “Since the program’s inception, length-of-stay for joint replacement patients has dropped by more than 1.5 days; the blood transfusion rate has fallen from nearly 12 percent to just .3 percent; and the average PACU (time spent in the post-anesthesia care unit) has decreased by nearly an hour.”
“Today, our quality of care and patient satisfaction is equal to or better than any other hospital in the Portland area,” Turner said. “We continue to develop program features that patients are seeking, including outpatient joint replacement for suitable candidates.”
For more information, call the Joint Replacement Center at 360.636.4846.