Posted: November 9, 2018

Grand River Hospital (GRH) is celebrating their first same day hip replacement surgery and discharge, marking innovation in surgery to improve a patient’s recovery and quality of life while more effectively using hospital resources.

Ruth Kinzie, a 63 year old resident of Kitchener, recently underwent hip replacement surgery and went home to recover on the same day.

Doctors in surgery

“The surgical team at Grand River Hospital has given me amazing care and my progress has been much faster than I expected”, says Ruth. “My discharge nurse was very attentive and an excellent educator. My medications were explained thoroughly as well as how to care for my incision.”

Ruth is now three weeks post-surgery and recovering well.

“I am doing very well at home with the support of my family, the care staff at GRH and a community physiotherapist. I am sleeping better than I did before surgery and can do many things for myself now”, says Ruth.

Ruth is the first patient at GRH to complete a hip replacement and be discharged home on the same day.

“Patients who are able to go home the same day after surgery are able to recover better from the comfort of their home with the support of their loved ones,” says Robinne Hauck, program director for the surgical program at GRH. “This also allows us to use our resources more effectively and helps prevent surgery cancellations due to bed shortages when demand for emergency surgery climbs.”

A patient who goes home on the same day as surgery will receive a follow-up telephone call later that day from their surgeon or nurse to ensure they are doing well and to address any questions or concerns they may have. Community partners also play an important role in discharge and recovery.

GRH completes approximately 400 hip replacements each year. It is estimated that about 10 per cent of hip replacement patients will be offered same-day discharge over the next year.

“Patient willingness is a key factor into same day discharge. With the help and support of hospital staff and community partners, we can make same day discharge an option for patients,” says Dr. Paul Grosso, an orthopedic surgeon at GRH who completed Ruth’s hip replacement. “Even patients who are not candidates for same-day discharge may benefit from the advances in post –operative pain and symptom management. This may allow patients to be discharged home earlier, with few symptoms and fewer side effects from medication.”

Patients must also meet certain medical criteria before being considered for same day discharge.  The pre-surgical clinic, along with anaesthesia care staff, help identify these patients. Patients who are not eligible typically recover in hospital for one to two days post-surgery.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this service to our community. This was a huge team initiative that involved planning with many services across the hospital, and in the community, to provide the best evidenced based care.” says Dr. Grosso.

As the hospital moves forward with more same day discharge hip surgery patients, the hospital is studying options to eventually expand the service to include knee replacement patients.

“Thank you to everyone who implemented the same day discharge plan and to the staff who worked though the care plan with me. It was an excellent team effort by all,” says Ruth.