UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital is introducing an orthopedic nurse navigator to patients who are receiving joint replacement surgeries. The goal of the orthopedic nurse navigator is to improve overall patient experience, decrease patient confusion, reduce the length of the hospital stay, and ensure the patient has the appropriate discharge plans to either skilled nursing facilities, home care or outpatient therapy.
Patients who undergo a joint replacement surgery typically have a long journey to prepare for surgery and recovery. However, the nurse navigator will help ease this process. Once a patient and provider determine a joint replacement surgery is necessary, the nurse navigator will meet with the patient regarding specific information from their physician and will review a custom care plan that is coordinated between the hospital, provider, and patient. Finley’s orthopedic nurse navigator will have a one-on-one educational discussion to help patients understand the joint replacement journey – from preparing to surgery, to arriving for surgery, and discharge plans for after the hospital stay. The nurse navigator will also follow up with patients over a 90-day period, post discharge, as they go home after their joint replacement procedure.
The new model of the orthopedic nurse navigator replaces Finley’s “Joint Camp.” There are many patient benefits of meeting with the nurse navigator versus attending joint camp. Rather than a weekly scheduled event where information is shared with dozens of other patients, the new model provides a flexible time in which patients have a private session regarding their care. The nature of the private session allows patient-specific information to be part of the discussion and allows the patient time to ask questions. In addition, this model decreases the number of times in which the patient needs to visit the hospital prior to surgery and allows for face-to-face communication instead of multiple phone calls.
Overall, the nurse navigator will help improve patient outcomes and assist in getting the patient discharged.