In 1992, a preoperative education program was developed for total joint replacement patients in a small community hospital. The goals of the program were to increase educational opportunities for the joint replacement patients, prepare patients for hospitalization, plan for discharge needs, and increase efficiency of the orthopaedic program. Since 1992, approximately 600 patients have attended the education program. Outcomes have included positive responses from patients regarding their preparedness for surgery, increased participation in their plan of care, coordinated discharge planning, decreased length of stay, and progression across the continuum of care. A multidisciplinary approach to preparing patients for surgery allows for a comprehensive and efficient education program. Marketing of successful programs can enhance an institution's competitive advantage and help ensure the hospital's viability in the current health care arena.
(C) 1998 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses