Surge Center Produces Quality Outcomes for Patients
When Dona Kudron and her team began planning for a new and exciting joint replacement program at Columbus Community Hospital, one of the first steps was to identify a name.
“We were really looking for something that represented the city of Columbus,” said Kudron, manager of Patient Experience at Columbus Community Hospital.
“One of our doctors thought of the Platte River. A river is a powerful force. After surgery, we want our joint patients to surge through life,” Kudron said.
The Surge Center at Columbus Community Hospital launched in April 2018. The goal of the program is to provide quality outcomes for people who elect to undergo hip, knee or shoulder replacement surgery.
The program starts with education before surgery. Each potential patient is asked to choose a coach — usually a family member or loved one — who will be an active participant in their care before, during and after discharge from the hospital.
The patient and coach are required to attend a preoperative class three to four weeks before the surgery. During the class, they will meet the Surge team and learn about the procedure, what to expect in the hospital and how to care for the patient after discharge.
“It’s an anxious time for patients,” said Dr. Richard Cimpl, physician champion and orthopedic surgeon at Columbus Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic. “We want to ease their concerns and help them have the best experience they can possibly have.”
The Surge Center Experience
After their procedure, patients are taken to the Surge Center, which is located on the hospital’s second floor. They are admitted and placed in rooms designated for joint replacement patients.
These rooms are grouped together, apart from patients who are ill. They are intended to resemble a home environment, including a private bathroom. During their stay, patients do not wear hospital gowns, but rather are expected to bring comfortable clothes to wear during the day.
“We do not see our patients as being sick,” Dr. Cimpl explained. “Instead, we see our patients as healthy individuals who are coming to the hospital because they have hip or knee pain and want to live a better quality of life by having joint replacement surgery."
During their stay, patients receive assistance from nurses and other staff members who specialize in joint care. They also participate in group activities with other joint replacement patients, including physical therapy.
“It’s very structured,” Kudron said. “We want them to start the day around 6 o’clock each morning. We want to keep them active and get their new joint moving.”
Patients are encouraged to track their progress on an ambulation board and compare their strides to those of fellow patients. This group atmosphere is intended to create camaraderie and help foster healthy competition to motivate patients to recover quickly, which is another objective of the program.
Patients are expected to return home in two to three days, but care doesn’t end after discharge or graduation. Graduates receive calls from the Surge staff within 72 hours of discharge and once again one to two weeks later. Reunions for Surge graduates and their coaches are held quarterly with surgeons and their entire team.
“We’re trying to be a destination of excellence. It’s part of an ongoing effort at CCH to provide quality care in an efficient manner,” Cimpl said.
To learn more about the Surge Center, visit www.columbushosp.org or contact Dona Kudron at 402-562-4624.