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The Effect of Early Ambulation on Patient Outcomes for Total Joint Replacement

Yager, Melissa; Stichler, Jaynelle

doi: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000158
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The National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses published clinical practice guidelines in 2010 to improve outcomes with day of surgery mobilization in the total joint replacement patient (B. Morris, M. Benetti, H. Marro, & C. Rosenthal, 2010). With the cost of healthcare skyrocketing and reimbursement marginally covering costs, healthcare professionals must look for ways to reduce length of stay for elective procedures. The purpose of this change project was to provide and measure the effectiveness of an educational intervention on the benefits of day of surgery mobility for nurses and physical therapy staff. Acquisition of caregivers' knowledge, attitudes, and practice was measured along with three patient outcomes (length of stay, discharge destination, and day of ambulation). The findings from this change project resulted in improvements in structure (new practice protocol), processes (nursing and physical therapy care processes), and patient and organization outcomes.

Melissa Yager, MS, RN, CNS, ONC, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Acute Care, Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA.

Jaynelle Stichler, DNS, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN, Professor Emerita, School of Nursing, San Diego State University, Professional Development & Research Consultant, Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA.

Melissa Yager is employed by Sharp Memorial Hospital and had received honorarium from NAON for past works.

The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2015 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses