Outpatient Joint Arthroplasty: Transitioning to the Ambulatory Surgery Center.

Charles A. DeCook.

The Journal of Arthroplasty, janvier 2019

Abstract: The performance of joint arthroplasty in an outpatient setting is expected to rise significantly over the coming decade, with predictions that greater than half of all primary joint arthroplasties will be performed in an outpatient setting by the year 2026.

Financial pressures, bundled payment models, and improved understanding of patient recovery have led to discharging patients home the same day as the index procedure. Arthroplasty surgeons are starting to utilize ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) to perform these outpatient arthroplasty procedures.

Our duty as arthroplasty surgeons continues to be to protect our patients’ overall care and safety during this transition from a traditional hospital model. Appreciating that postoperative treatment, disposition, physical space, and sterile processing department capabilities are different from traditional hospital models is paramount to success in an ASC.

Differences between hospital and ASC models place additional staffing, financial pressure, and time pressure on the arthroplasty surgeon to select and prepare patients before surgery. Adequately preparing patients involves medical optimization, setting patient and family expectations, identifying appropriate caregivers, and establishing effective communication tools after surgery.

It is imperative to develop protocols to deal with predictable discharge delays that include blood pressure, oversedation, postoperative urinary retention, postoperative nausea and/or vomiting, pain, and social issues. These protocols are best first developed in a hospital setting where they can be implemented and changed before starting in an ASC.

Arthroplasty surgeons will continue to protect patients by developing protocols and preparing patients appropriately for care in an ASC.