“It’s a record low.” Words rarely uttered in a time of hospital overcrowding. But that’s exactly what Queensway Carleton Hospital and its regional partners have achieved with wait times for hip and knee replacement surgery.
People used to wait 12 months or more to meet with a surgeon and then another 12 months or more for surgery. Today, wait times have been cut in half, and patients have more choice in the process.
At the root of the success is the Total Joint Assessment Clinic (TJAC) program. QCH and its regional hospital partners have received the go-ahead to expand the central intake program, adding shoulder, foot, ankle, arthroscopy of the knee and mid and upper back surgeries.
QCH nurse Maureen Sly-Havey was recently recognized with a national nursing award for her work on the program and other orthopedic initiatives within QCH. She lead an initiative which helped reduce how long people have to spend in hospital after the surgery – with over 50 percent now returning home after just one day, and no increase in readmissions. That adds up to over 1,000 bed days saved — more open beds for other patients who need care.
The Total Joint Assessment Clinic has been a good news story since its launch in 2007, the first of its kind in the region. It went regional in 2010 with QCH at the helm. It now receives 7,000-plus referrals a year and is having a real impact on the community. QCH is excited for continued expansion on the horizon.