OGDEN -- With baby boomers living more healthy, active lifestyles, the demand for joint replacement has increased.
That's why Ogden Regional Medical Center has created a state-of-the-art Joint Center.
The center performs 200 to 250 hip and knee replacements each year, said Jeff Olsen, total joint care coordinator for therapy services.
"The new unit will be dedicated primarily to the treatment of patients who undergo total hip or total knee replacement," Olsen said. "However, the new program is so much more than just a remodeled hospital room."
Olsen said the 10-bed unit will offer patient-centered care. A major component of the program will emphasize education.
"Once the patient decides to have a total knee or hip replacement, they will receive a patient guidebook to use as a reference, and they will be scheduled to attend a preoperative education class," he said.
"Once in the hospital, they will receive daily newsletters, individual training and group teaching sessions."
Before discharge, patients and their families will attend a class that teaches how to care for new joints.
"The main objective of our new approach to joint replacement is getting patients back to their normal life and daily activities as soon as possible," Olsen said.
The new unit, at the end of the surgical unit on Wing 2 of the hospital, will be staffed with physicians, nurses and therapists. This team will meet regularly to evaluate patient results and ensure clinical and service excellence in all aspects of joint replacement, Olsen said.
"We ask our total joint replacement patients to have a family member or friend to take on the role of our patient's encourager, personal trainer, household helper, teacher and supporter," he said.
"They become the coach. Coaches assist patients in following the guidelines and ensure a safe transition back home."
Olsen said the hospital recognizes that patients are much more interested in shopping around and comparing hospitals and physicians and are more willing to travel if it means getting better results.
Additionally, he said, national health care reform measures are beginning to require public reporting of outcomes to offer incentives for superior performance and mandate practices that increase efficiency and decrease the risk of errors.
"We designed our new total joint center with all of these goals in mind," Olsen said. "Our center approaches our patients as people who have chosen surgery as a way to increase their quality of life, not as a person who is broken or sick."
The center began accepting patients Aug. 1. An open house is scheduled from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.