At Niagara Health, Orthopaedics is one of the most advanced and successful programs whereby 13 Orthopaedic Surgeons perform approximately 1,200 elective joint replacements per year. Early in 2014 one of our Orthopaedic Surgeons championed a new innovated hip replacement procedure which was less invasive and utilized a different surgical approach than the traditional technique. A team of dedicated professionals began the planning journey and subsequently named the project “AHEAD Program” – Anterior Hip Early Ambulation and Discharge. Published evidence on this approach shows proven benefits and is robust in the scientific literature. Although becoming the approach of choice for Surgical Centers focused on minimally invasive surgery, it has not gained widespread adoption in Ontario or Canada as of yet. Our Champion was trained extensively on this technique with expert mentors before bringing the program to the Welland Site of Niagara Health. After a limited series of patients proved successful in a trial run in 2014, we acquired the necessary equipment to begin full implementation in 2015. The standard Hip Replacement Care Pathway was proving to be less relevant, as patients continued to express a desire for an enhanced accelerated mobility plan. Our Surgeon Lead gathered key stakeholders to develop a new pathway, based extensively on published methodology available in the Orthopaedic literature along with references from London Health Sciences. A collaborative effort culminated into the AHEAD Program which has been operational since June 2015, and continues to generate high levels of patient satisfaction and meet all Quality Based Procedure Indicators.
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