Alexander Sah, MD;
John Dearborn, MD
In today’s world, living a long life is not enough – people
want to stay healthy, active and self-sufficient well into their 70s and
80s. In order to do so, joint replacement, most commonly of the hip or
knee, may be necessary.
At Washington Hospital’s
Institute for Joint Restoration and Research, joint replacement is both an artform and a science. As co-directors,
we’ve built our program to streamline the process of knee and hip
replacement, turning what was once a weeklong stay in the hospital into
an outpatient procedure without sacrificing outcomes or quality of care.
How have we accomplished this? With education and specialization.
Mastery Through Specialization
The old adage, “practice makes perfect” is especially true
When Washington Hospital first decided to concentrate on its joint replacement
program in 1997, it was doing anywhere from 50 to 70 procedures per year.
Knowing that the population was aging, we set out to become the regional
gold standard for patient care and outcomes. To achieve this, we had to
By narrowing our focus to hip and knee replacements exclusively, building
a team around comprehensive joint replacement, and putting the patient
experience first, we were able to increase our patient volume. As with
any science, more volume means more data points, and more data points mean
a more accurate practice of medicine, reduced complications and infection, and improved patient outcomes.
Two decades later, the IJRR performs more than 1,500 knee and hip replacements
each year for people from all over California, as well as nationally and
internationally, and is recognized within the medical community for its
high standards of care and is a resource for joint replacement best practices.
Knowledge to Succeed
At Washington Hospital, we practice patient first care. Within the context
of the IJRR, that means taking a comprehensive approach to joint replacement
by treating the whole patient. And, while surgery is obviously an important
part of this process, so is
Before a patient ever enters the operating room, they’ve been counseled,
prepared and are ready to succeed. In the weeks leading up to surgery,
patients and their caregivers go to a preoperative teaching session led
by our nurses and physical therapists. In addition to building a rapport
with the staff that will be caring for them during their hospital stay,
these sessions teach them about the procedure and, most importantly, what
they can do before and after surgery to ensure the best outcomes –
physically and mentally.
We don’t sugarcoat things. We believe that knowing exactly what to
expect helps patients and their caregivers enjoy the highs and work through
the lows of the recovery process, and empowers them to become stewards
of their own recovery.
At the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research, we know our patients
have high expectations. Specifically, they expect their joint replacement
procedure will be successful and that they can go back to working, moving
and enjoying life as quickly as possible. It’s our job to make it happen.
Using the most advanced surgical procedures available, a skilled team of
surgeons, nurses and therapists, and our signature patient-centered approach
to care, we’re changing lives one joint at a time.
Posted August, 2018