Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas has opened a 22-bed unit dedicated to the post-operative needs of patients undergoing orthopedic and spine surgeries.
Mercy has also added an orthopedic service line coordinator and a nurse navigator who help guide joint replacement patients through treatment, from ensuring they have appointments booked correctly to escorting them through their surgery day and adding a layer of post-surgical checks on their progress.
“Having been through knee replacement myself, I’m thrilled Mercy Hospital is adding these important, specialized services for patients undergoing orthopedic procedures,” said Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital. “Orthopedic patients’ needs are different from patients recovering from an illness and we think this dedicated unit will serve them well.”
The unit includes 14 beds dedicated to inpatients who typically spend one day in the hospital after a surgery such as knee replacement. It also includes eight beds for outpatients who leave the hospital the same day as their surgery, including patients undergoing minimally invasive hip replacement.
One unique feature for inpatients is a therapy gym built into the unit where patients begin physical therapy almost immediately after their surgeries.
Mercy offers some of the highest-rated care for orthopedic and spine patients in part because of an emphasis on getting patients home as quickly as possible. Shorter hospital stays are associated with fewer complications.
“Statistically, patients do best with a short hospital stay and recovering in their own homes, so we get them home as soon as we can,” said Lindsay Kemp, orthopedic service line coordinator. “We’re very proud of our excellent outcomes for patients.”
The orthopedic/spine unit complements the services of Mercy Clinic Orthopedics – Rogers, whose team of seven surgeons and five physician assistants offers comprehensive orthopedics treatment and surgery, including knee and hip replacement, back and spine treatment and hand and wrist surgery.
Dr. Scott Cooper, a Mercy orthopedic surgeon, said having a unit dedicated to orthopedic and spine patients is good for everyone.
“Sure, it’s convenient for us to have our patients in one place, but the big advantage is for the patients,” he said. “Having a team of nurses, aides and therapists experienced in musculoskeletal recovery and rehabilitation makes the process more efficient and even safer for patients. In the short time it’s been up and running, the feedback I’ve gotten from my patients has been extremely positive.”