New Joint Wellness Program Opens at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

Wellness Approach to Joint Replacement Surgery Offers Group Dynamic, Patient-Centered Care and Faster Recovery

Patients undergoing joint replacement surgery at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas will no longer go it alone. From pre-op education to post-op recovery they will be joined by other patients having the same procedure in a "camp" type atmosphere that promotes wellness, camaraderie and friendly competition to help ensure that each patient has the best possible outcome. 

Known as the Joint Wellness Program at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, this new and innovative approach to joint replacement surgery is part of a larger national trend in healthcare to offer patients a focused approach to recovery following surgery. Currently, the program is available to patients undergoing total knee replacements, with plans to incorporate other procedures such as total hip replacements within the next six months. 

Typically, patients have surgery on day one, are evaluated by a physical therapist the morning of day two and begin group therapy sessions that afternoon. In most cases, they are ready to go home by the third day. Traditionally, the average length of stay following a knee replacement is at least four days. 

"We believe our patients are able to go home sooner because the staff dedicates personal attention to each patient in a well-coordinated fashion," says Fabian Pollo, PhD, executive director of the Baylor Dallas Department of Orthopaedics. "It has been shown that programs focused on coordinated care produce better patient outcomes. This program was designed to improve post-operative rehabilitation and most importantly, the patient's experience by giving patients the knowledge and tools they need to make the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible." 

Yetta Williams agrees. After having her second knee replacement in less than a year, she says she prefers her recovery in a group setting. 

"If you have to have a knee replacement, this is the way to do it," says Williams. "This approach is similar to a support group. We encourage and motivate each other which helped make recovery go much more smoothly." 

Prior to surgery, each patient is encouraged to attend a pre-operative education session where they learn what to expect before, during and after their procedure. The program coordinator communicates with each patient before surgery, during their stay and after discharge to follow-up on their recovery. In addition, family members are encouraged to participate as the patient's "coach" to assist them during their hospital stay and when they return home. During recovery, patients wear their own clothes rather than a hospital gown. 

"We want our patients to feel comfortable and empowered," says Anna Bingham, Joint Wellness Program coordinator. "Just by dressing in their own clothes they feel less like a patient and more like a guest which in turn helps them recover faster. We have already seen dramatic increases in our patient satisfaction scores since the program started." 

The 24-bed unit is located on the sixth floor of Jonsson Hospital at Baylor Dallas. The private patient rooms are large and comfortable with easily accessible bathrooms designed to meet the special needs of patients recovering from joint replacement surgery. 

Currently, more than 600,000 joint replacements are performed in the United States each year. The Baylor Dallas Department of Orthopaedics performs over 1,500 joint replacements annually and has been named as one of the top 50 orthopaedic departments in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's"America's Best Hospitals Guide."

Contact: Ashley Howland, (214) 820-7540
Email: ashlehow@baylorhealth.edu 

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com