Webinar: Tips for Success—Integrating Virtual Care across the Continuum for Total Joint Replacement

Disclaimer: This transcript is intended to provide an overview of the main topics discussed in the webinar. Because it has been auto-generated, it might contain errors (including to proper names, industry terminology, and punctuation that result in altered meaning). To hear the webinar in full, please listen to the archived recording.

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Webinar Transcript

Thank you for joining, J and Leigh. We’re looking forward to our conversation today on Advent’s approach to integrating virtual care across the continuum for total joint replacement to kick it off. I’d love to have each of you give us just a quick introduction of yourself. So J, I’m going to pass it to you to start.

Thank you, Leigh. Yes, my name is J Coomes. I’m the executive director for rehab services at Advent Health across our central Florida division.

And I’m Leigh Harris. I’m a director of operations in our outpatient division for central Florida, and my focus is clinical quality.

Great. Thank you both. So as we dive into today’s conversation you know, we’re, we’re talking a little bit about how Advent actually went through and restructured the way they were doing their group classes before total joint. Previously the rehab team had some involvement, but the classes were inconsistent campus and campus based. Recently the team switched to the remote classes that have the consistency and standardization throughout that full continuum with all the facilities within the region, from the physician’s office through acute care, all the way out to the outpatient team. So can, can you guys give a little bit more detail on the structure of the total joint program and how it may navigate through that process?

Sure. I’m happy to. So with our now revamped total joint program and preop class, our patients first get introduced to it at their, at their surgeon’s office. And that’s where they, they are scheduled for the pre-op class before they go. And then they come to a preop class it’s virtual. Today we, we live in a virtual world, so they’re going to that pre-op class virtually. And at that class we’re able as therapists to begin their education process for their home exercise program and what to expect during that surgery, as well as the first little bit away from surgery. So we begin, you know, of course with our Medford template and home exercise program, introduce that for them. And then they can begin that right then or wait until right after surgery.

Great. Thanks J. And you had, pre-filled previously done some form of pre-op classes before and made the case to reimplement them in a more standard and consistent way throughout the full continuum and throughout the full region. How did you decide to actually focus here and build this type of program?

Thanks Leigh. Yeah, I can speak on this one. So we, we know that the recent literature shows that their improved outcomes and patient satisfaction by accomplishing this preoperative class for total joint replacements, it lowers hospital length of stay decreases readmissions and improves costs. So we looked at this opportunity to do it virtually due to COVID and said, we can do this in a better operational way and then more standardized. So we started to look at our outcomes, which we use a system called ROMs, and we’re going to be tracking that across the progression of this.

This is a new initiative for us. So we are, are just kind of launching in the last two months, so exciting things to come as well. But we were looking at that virtual format and how can we connect with the patients? So we look to MedBridge and as J mentioned, the initial templates and connecting with the patient during that class by having the physical therapist present. So there was a good connection and actually being virtual, also improved operational efficiencies for us. So there wasn’t a more time away for the clinician from a clinic because they were able to just do it right there in a quiet room and present, and then connect that patient with the virtual. So we’ll continue to watch the outcomes on this, even just for our population and look at if they attend a preop class or if they don’t, where are the better outcomes. And is there also any difference in utilization of visits? So that’s kind of where we were going from here. Great. Thanks Leigh. And when we were talking about this before, you know, putting this presentation together, one area that you both highlighted was that alignment with the physician all the way through to outpatient. So can you talk to us a little bit about how you got that alignment and consistency across the continuum? Who did you talk to you? What did he use to build a program that was agreed upon?

Sure. First we worked started with the inpatient team and we looked at the evidence that, you know, we want to start things with our evidence-based and we looked at the evidence and what did the evidence say about pre-op classes, what exercises patients need to be doing for different orthopedic surgeries, et cetera. And we, part of that research showed that we run into keep patients from having been overwhelmed with the number of exercises that they get right at surgery. And so we’ve kept the number of exercises down, kept it tried to keep those exercises down under five. And then we took that evidence and brought it to our physician champions across our division. You can imagine in our central Florida division, we have over 15 hospitals, many outpatient centers, many surgeons, and to get their buy-in across that many people is going to be challenging. So we brought our physician champions in and talk to them, show them what the evidence indicated and then how allowed them to help us with the rest of the positions. Then we began to collaborate with our nursing teams amongst our orthopedic Institute, but then we also realized that we need to look at this across the continuum. And that’s when we really started to begin to talk about our outpatient team and our outpatient program. So Leigh, do you want to fill us in with that?

Sure. Thanks, J. Exactly. So originally when these classes were, in-person like we’ve talked about before in the past state, it was really a much more of a focus around in-patient education per campus. And so again, this division-wide virtual opportunities allow the J’s team, my team come together and collaborate more on the materials and highlight outpatient a little bit more because as the research again, shows that the total joint patients coming directly to outpatient rehab from inpatient, if they’re appropriate and most are their outcomes are better. So again, just relying on the evidence, looking at, coming from that acute side, aligning our education from acute to outpatient and progressing that patient on the best route for the best outcome. And the best value is really where we’ve been able to shift, which has starting to show increased risk.

Great. And with that transition right now, what percent of your patients are going direct to outpatient from acute care? And what do you hope to see you know, a few months down the road?

That’s a great question. I think we still have a research to do, and we’re looking at that with this overhaul of the program and the pre-op classes and all of the physicians now being on board with that new physicians coming to our team, we’re going to be tracking that to really understand it. So MedBridge is helping us look at the data on the, on the back end to see all of these patients that we do issue the home program to in our pre-op class, kind of who’s activating because then again, we’ll track the outcomes and those who may be activated early and became familiar and with the education before even having surgery, how are they doing compared to those who maybe didn’t attend or activate their account? So we’ll be tracking that and hopefully have some exciting data to, to share soon from the physicians and the different departments.

What about the clinicians themselves? How did you get that consistency from the rehab team to be able to generate the results that you’re hoping to see as you build this program?

Great question. A big part of this is I think the culture that we have, which has taken a while to get there, but we’re proud of it now that we’re on this kind of educate the clinicians, track, how we’re doing and share that information. So it’s kind of a three-step process. It’s always a continual loop starting with educating on why it’s important. If they understand the evidence, then we’re able to share that with them. And they understand that participating in that class for the patient is going to improve their outcome. And then that’s going to be step one. And then just again, focusing on the evidence and the, the care that we should be providing and make sure our, all of our staff are, are doing that every day. And the one kind of unique way we realize MedBridge for that too, is developing knowledge tracks.

So as J’s mentioned, our inpatient teams, some of our home health and their outpatient team, we’re all on the same platform for MedBridge. So if we develop education there all of our teams are able to see it and then transition on those agreed upon phases as, as he mentioned as well. So standardizing the training and the education and then some breakout sessions with our teams to make sure they have the skills. So involving the team in actively learning and participating in the launch of this program. And again, having them be able to come in and connect with the patients in that virtual class. So all those pieces really come together. And then again, sharing the feedback and the data that we are going to be able to pull from this will, again, close that loop, help them continually know they’re making a difference. So that’s so far what we’ve done. That’s great. And that’s a great way to combine you know, the, the quality of the outcomes, the cost, along with giving feedback for the clinicians and making sure that everyone is able to progress. So that’s great. And so, you know, based on what you’ve seen so far, what’s next for this type of program, where do you see some new opportunities?

Well you know, Advent Health, we’re definitely into the research. And I think that’s really where the next part of this is. And, and part of it is really making sure that we can see how about how the patient is complying with the program and what is their compliance with getting onto the product and getting into their home exercise program virtually and, and beforehand. So I think that’s part of the next step.

Yeah. And, and I would add against kind of new for us. So we’re going to be tracking activations and the patient involvement. And so far it’s been a real exciting initiative. We’re doing it just now with our ortho and total joint patients, but our system is divisionalized in these pre-op classes for other groups, such as spine surgery. So we hope to prove, prove it here that it’s a really benefit for the patient and all the different areas, and then be able to possibly launch this in the new spine pre-op classes too. Great. Thank you both. And I guess, you know, just as we wrap this up any final ideas or tips for success, any kind of final thoughts to, to leave on.

I can jump in, I think it’s a lot about collaboration, collaboration with the continuum collaboration with the physicians, the nursing team and most importantly collaboration with the patient what’s going to work for them.

Yeah. Completely agree. And just finding those key physicians or clinical champions that, that team that needs to help you make it happen, just start identifying those people and connecting with them and pull them into that collaboration. And I think it’ll be a success. Great. Thank you. Both J and Leigh for taking the time with us, we really appreciate it. Thank you.

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