Abstract [from journal]
Background: Excess days in acute care (EDAC) after total joint arthroplasty (TJA) represent a large economic burden. We developed an Orthopedic EDAC program that triages TJA patients to the appropriate service line (orthopedic vs medicine) and level of care (observation vs inpatient) on re-presentation. We developed and used evidence-based protocols for the treatment of TJA patients who are rehospitalized.
Methods: We defined Orthopedic EDAC as the length of stay (LOS) during readmission and observation stays. Our target population included TJA and revision TJA patients. Patients between April 2017 and September 2017 and between October 2017 and September 2018 were defined as pre-implementation and post-implementation of the Orthopedic EDAC program, respectively.
Results: A total of 2,662 patients underwent TJA and revision TJA during the pre-implementation and post-implementation periods. Twenty-three patients were managed on observation status during the study period. Readmissions decreased from 49 (6.1%) during pre-implementation to 37 (2.0%) during post-implementation (P = .004). By design, more rehospitalized patients were on the orthopedic surgery service after implementation of the Orthopedic EDAC program (n = 49; 70%) versus before (n = 22; 35%; P = .028). EDAC LOS decreased from 7.75 days to 4.73 days (P = .005).
Conclusion: In this single-center, before-after pilot of a novel Orthopedic EDAC program, we demonstrated a reduction in readmissions and Orthopedic EDAC LOS, as well as improved continuity of care for TJA patients on representation.