Hospital Shares Practices to Benefit

Infection control and length of stay are concerns for any hospital, so when the United Kingdom decided to create a new state-of-the-art orthopedic hospital concentrating on joint replacement surgery they reached out to the largest orthopedic hospital in the world, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). With the goal of reducing the rate of infection and length of stay after surgery in the new facility, they entered into a collaboration with staff at HSS, involving them at every stage of planning and execution.

As reported this year, data collected during the first 10 months in operation of the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre in 2004 showed that the hospital had decreased their infection rates from one percent to 0.16 percent and length of stay by an average of five days, from 11 to 6 days. This decrease was benchmarked against a 2000 national survey by the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the British Orthopaedic Association that showed for total hip replacement surgery, the average patient stay was between eight to 12 days and that the deep wound infection rate was one percent.

Representatives from HSS went to London right at the beginning, as the construction plans were being drawn up. With infection control a huge issue in the UK and in Europe because of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the HSS representatives wanted to make sure the hospital was designed to combat the spread of infection right from the start.

A large part of patient coordination starts before the patients are admitted. At a pre-operative class, patients are given a seminar and manual to lead them through every step, from the day before surgery through recovery. The paper, Effectiveness of Best Practice Implementation in Reducing Hip Arthroplasty Length of Stay, shows that the transfer of knowledge was successful after only a few months as was evidenced by reduction in infection rates and length of stay.

COMPAMED.de; Source: Hospital for Special Surgery