Minneapolis orthopaedic center offers alternative to surgical wait lists in Saskatchewan
A stay at the serene, high-end Hilton Minneapolis / Bloomington hotel. All-inclusive meals, personalized for your diet. Attentive care from staff.
Though it might sound like a vacation, this actually describes TRIA Orthopaedic Center’s hotel recovery program for international patients receiving joint replacement surgery.
“We do our surgeries here, then after our patients have completely gone through the post-op phase, they go to the hotel across the street,” explains Dr. Alan Markman, medical director of the Ambulatory Surgery Center at TRIA.
Markman is one of the founders of the TRIA Orthopaedic Center, which opened in 2005. The TRIA building has operating rooms, scanning centres, rehabilitation, a walkin clinic and an acute injury clinic – everything needed to treat any kind of orthopaedic problem. The majority of their operations are outpatient surgeries; patients recover from anesthesia in the building and then go home. Several of Minnesota’s professional sports teams rely on the orthopaedic expertise of TRIA’s medical experts, including The Wild and the Twins.
TRIA has also been running the hotel program since 2008 with great success. They did a pilot program to prove it’s safe for patients and found infection rates were better than the same procedure performed through a hospital.
“Patient satisfaction scores over time were better than the same type of care given through a hospital,” Markman says. “It’s safer, less expensive and has better patient outcomes through this ambulatory care centre utilizing the extended care of the hotel across the street.”
To date, they’ve done about 1,400 procedures, and have an excellent track record for patient care. Generally, the hotel program is for people who are having total joint replacement, such as in the knee, hip, shoulder, or ankle.
The TRIA experience was recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which is the largest international gathering of orthopaedic surgeons in the world.
Mary Haugen, registered nurse and director of nursing at the Ambulatory Surgery Center, credits their success to their patient-centric process.
A month or two before the surgery, patients receive education and exercises to get them in the best shape possible for their surgery. The program even enlists the help of a personal coach – a family member or friend who TRIA also educates about how to help the patient.
“We make sure the patient is confident and competent about what they’re facing, and what they need to do after their surgery,” Haugen says.
TRIA researched how others were doing this type of care in a non-traditional setting, and created a plan that had safety at its foundation, including ensuring the cleanliness of the hotel. Haugen says they’ve partnered with the hotel to inspect it regularly to ensure the cleaning level is what they expect. “We take infection prevention seriously. Even though this is not a hospital, it’s still a setting that is clean.”
Markman also speaks to the cleanliness of the hotel, noting that in joint replacement especially, infection is a big concern. “We’re constantly vigilant against that,” he says. “The people at the Hilton are wonderful friends in this entire process, and a great partner that helps us feel confident we’re running a great program.”
During recovery at the hotel, nurses and physiotherapy professionals are on hand to care for the patients and address concerns or questions. “One component patients tout as the greatest piece is the nursing care,” Haugen says.
As an additional safety precaution, patients cannot have too many associated health problems. They must have a BMI under a certain number, be healthy in terms of heart and lung function, and have no history of chronic pain issues.
Ancillary providers will pre-screen interested patients at home in Saskatoon to make sure they’re right for the program – just like they would with their patients in Minneapolis – and they’ll have a local partner who the patient can call if they have questions after they come home.
“In medical tourism... a common complaint is once they get home, how do they get their after-care? Who do they talk to? What are the avenues?” Haugen says. “Some of the programs around the world are not up to the level we would like this to be. We consider our Canadian neighbours our patients, to the extent of arranging for support back home who will help them through ongoing rehabilitation.”
TRIA Orthopaedic Center is hosting an open consultation at the Parktown Hotel in Saskatoon on Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6. TRIA staff will be seeing patients from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday evening, there will be an event for local providers to come learn more about the program.
For more details, contact TRIA at (952) 831-8742 or visit http://tria. com/Hilton-recovery-program/