Joint Academy Prepares Staff and Patients for a Brighter Tomorrow

By John Vo, MSN, RN
Director of Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Services
Methodist Dallas Medical Center


Medicine has come a long way, and you need look no further than the joint replacement programs at Methodist Dallas, Methodist Charlton, and Methodist Mansfield Medical Centers for proof. Today, patients who suffer injuries to their hips, knees, or shoulders from accidents or disease can undergo joint replacement surgery that could return them to nearly 100 percent of their preinjury functional level.

Orthopedics is an area of medicine that is changing rapidly. For many patients, the latest technologies in joint replacement surgery, including minimally invasive anterior hip replacement, mean less time in the hospital, less pain, quicker recovery, and more comfort. It’s critically important to keep staff and patients informed with the most up-to-date information. That’s where the Methodist Joint Academy comes in.

The Joint Academy is a free, one-day workshop for patients who will soon undergo a joint replacement. The program educates patients about their disease or injury, how it has affected their joints, the surgery that they are about to have, and what’s ahead as far as recovery and rehabilitation. While at the hospital for the workshop, staff also completes patients’ presurgery workup that includes blood work, an EKG, and more. At Methodist Dallas, we host the Joint Academy on a weekly basis. But it isn’t just for patients. Our new orthopedic floor nurses attend as well so they receive the same information as their patients. This has proven to be effective in getting everyone — patient and caregiving team — on the same page, improving the patient care experience.

Every patient attending the Methodist Dallas Joint Academy will:

  • Be greeted by a concierge and guided to the classroom
  • Receive priority access to required pre-op testing
  • Receive express registration to eliminate delays the day of surgery
  • Engage in classroom instruction about what to expect from pre-op, joint replacement surgery, recovery, and rehabilitation taught by Joint Academy clinical specialists
  • Participate in a tour of the orthopedic floor, designed specifically for the needs and comfort of joint replacement surgery patients
  • Engage in small group discussion with fellow joint replacement patients to build camaraderie and provide motivation and support after surgery
  • Receive a Joint Academy T-shirt, tote bag, educational binder, and reusable ice pack
  • Enjoy free validated parking.

Both of the joint replacement programs at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Charlton have received certification from The Joint Commission. This process takes about 18 months of preparation and includes many educational sessions with physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and the other members of the orthopedics care team. This certification recognizes that the programs are focusing on three areas, including:

  • Compliance with consensus-based national standards
  • Effective and consistent use of appropriate, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the hip, knee, or shoulder replacement patient population
  • Collection and analysis of a minimum of four performance measures specific to the hip, knee, or shoulder replacement patient population (a minimum of two performance measures must be clinical in nature).

We are seeing an increasing number of patients who are searching for hospitals where joint replacements are performed. The Joint Commission certification means we are dedicated to performance excellence and that they can trust us as a health care provider.

For nurses, the Joint Academy and Methodist Health System’s commitment to having Joint Commission certification is a differentiator that means solid clinical practice guidelines and a shared governance model. The more the employees know about the joint replacement program, the more they will engage with their patients. An educated patient is an empowered patient, so the more they understand about the surgery, the better they’ll do in the recovery phase.

The Joint Academy means improved teamwork, better outcomes for patients, and a positive work environment. That translates into:

  • A collaborative working environment among surgeons, nurses, and ancillary staff
  • Reduced variation between physicians and other caregivers to deliver more consistent, coordinated care
  • Shared responsibility and accountability
  • Informed patients who are more accountable for their care and whose expectations have been set and managed properly
  • Healthier patient outcomes.

I’ve been a member of the Methodist family for 14 years. I can truly say that I love my job and I learn something new every day. The culture is friendly and everyone is willing to help each other. The joint replacement team at Methodist is a cohesive and collaborative group who takes pride in their work.

The Joint Academy is one more way we’re creating a better experience for our patients and the people who care for them. To learn how to brighten your career, visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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