Teamwork has been key to reducing the length of stay in hospital for patients at Goole hospital.
A Quality Improvement (QI) project has reduced the length of stay for hip and knee patients from 2.74 days to 1.79 days which is great news as they are up and about and home within a shorter timeframe, which cuts their risk of deconditioning and hospital acquired infections.
Matron Kerry Owen, who was instrumental in the project, said: “We linked in with our quality improvement team who gave us a clear steer and lots of support along the way. The key to this was everyone got on board including the secretaries, ward staff, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, and our orthopaedic consultants Mr Andrew Edwards and Mr Ricardo Pacheco.”
I was really pleased with my care from start to finish.Patient Paul Blacker
To reduce the length of stay, it was important to get patients moving sooner after surgery and mobilised sooner once they returned to the ward. To do this two things would have to happen. Firstly, a change to the type of anaesthetic given to patients and secondly healthcare assistants involved in the mobilisation of patients.
Kerry said: “All of the staff have been fantastic. I think the hardest part has been convincing the patients. They come in with a preconceived idea that because their friend/relative was in for three days they will too. It is just about reassuring them we will only discharge them if it is safe to do so. Patients receive a phone call a couple of days after they are discharged to make sure they don’t have any issues with their wound, mobility, and pain.”
Mr Andrew Edwards, Orthopaedic Consultant, said: “Streamlining patients’ journey through our hospital has given us the opportunity to reduce the inpatient stay. The sooner the patient can go home the better the outcome in general terms. Our aim is not about getting people home just for the sake of it, but rather it’s better for them and makes the whole experience of having joint replacement in our hospital a positive one.”
Patient Paul Blacker underwent knee replacement surgery with Mr Pacheco. He said: “I was really pleased with my care from start to finish. The theatre team were brilliant as were the ward nurses. They helped me get out of bed on the evening of my surgery and gave me pain relief timely when I asked for it.
“The physio’s assessed me the following day. I had no concerns with going home the day after my surgery. The nurses gave me lots of information when I was discharged. If I needed surgery again I would definitely have it done in Goole.”
Kerry said the next goal is to move towards patients having their hip and knee replacements carried out as day cases.