Kootenai Health’s joint replacement outcomes and standards of care are right on par with one of the top medical centers in the country
North Idaho residents who need a hip or knee replacement don’t have to look far for world-class treatment. According to Chad Bailey’s recent visit to the Mayo Clinic, the level of care that patients receive in Kootenai Health’s Total Joint Replacement Program compares to some of the nation’s best.
“The whole process has been amazing,” Debbie Lohrey, total hip replacement patient, said. “My doctor and the staff at the hospital were very conscientious and compassionate.”
Debbie decided to have her hip replaced after years of debate and talking with her orthopedic surgeon, Douglas McInnis, M.D. She finally made the decision after being unable to complete a hike around Coeur d’Alene’s Tubbs Hill with her son.
“I just couldn’t do it and it really bothered me,” she said. “The pain was starting to impact my lifestyle and I want to be able to be active and enjoy the outdoors.”
Debbie is one of the first patients to recover from surgery in the new hospital expansion. As part of the Total Joint Program, patients begin rehabilitation the same day as surgery and have access to a new rehabilitation gym within the unit. The new rehabilitation gym is designed specifically for total joint patients. It includes real-world amenities — such as a kitchen and bathtub — that helps rehabilitation patients more quickly regain their ability to function in everyday life.
“We continue the pursuit of improvement to our care practices,” Chad, orthopedic nurse practitioner, said. “We are always searching out new techniques and new evidence that we can assimilate here in order to provide even better patient experiences and outcomes.”
Chad, orthopedic nurse practitioner at Kootenai, recently traveled to Minnesota to give a presentation at a nursing conference. While there, he had the rare opportunity to meet with joint replacement experts at the Mayo Clinic’s state-of-the-art campus in Rochester. During his four-hour visit, he got a personal behind-the-scenes tour of the medical facility, learned about Mayo’s knee and surgery replacement techniques, and discussed best care practices.
The key takeaway from Bailey’s visit to the Mayo Clinic: Kootenai Health’s joint replacement outcomes and standards of care are right on par with one of the top medical centers in the country.
“Our performance is comparable to the outcomes at Mayo,” he said. “For patients, this means there’s no need to travel anywhere else to get a knee or hip replaced, because based on patient outcomes, they’re getting the same quality of care here at home as they would get at a globally recognized medical institution like Mayo.”
In 2014, Kootenai Health became the 30th member — and first health care organization in the Pacific Northwest — to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network. As a member of the network, Kootenai providers have exclusive access to Mayo’s knowledge, expertise and resources to help improve the delivery of care locally.
“Our relationship with Mayo made it possible for me to connect with leading experts and get an inside look at what they are doing and how they do it,” Bailey said. “As a result of that, I was able to compare their program practices and outcomes directly to ours. The visit validated that what we are doing here at Kootenai is great, and the relationship with Mayo will give us many opportunities to stay at the forefront as we move forward.”
Currently, 70 percent of Kootenai’s knee and hip replacement patients are able to return home from the hospital the day after surgery, including Debbie.
“I had almost no pain following surgery,” she said. “I know there will be some pain as I recover, but I’m looking forward to enjoying my summer.”
Are you considering joint replacement surgery?
Planning on having joint replacement surgery soon? Learn more at kh.org/totaljoint. If you’re currently looking for an orthopedic surgeon, contact Kootenai Clinic Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at (208) 625-6700 or visit kh.org/orthopedics.