We recently reviewed our data from calendar year 2013 looking at our results for primary total hip and knee replacement. In an effort to be transparent with regard to expectations, we track our average length of stay, infection, readmission rate within 30 days and look at disposition after surgery. This is data that all hospitals keep and the data base is available to compare to benchmark data i.e., what is expected or best practices.
We performed over 1,000 joint replacements in 2013. Our average length of stay for total hip replacement was 2.2 days which compared with a national benchmark of 2.6 days; therefore we were better than expected as far as our length of stay. With knee replacement our average leg of stay was 2.8 days. The benchmark average was 2.6 days. Our discharge to home for both hip and knee replacement was 90%, home with visiting nurse services was 2% and discharge to a skilled nursing facility was 8%; both for our primary hips and knees. This compares quite favorably with the Cleveland Clinic 2012 data which had a discharge home of 62% for hip replacement and 49% for knee replacement. Our infection rate for primary total hips was 0.8% and for primary total knees 0.7%, again both better than the national benchmarking data, where infection rates range from 1% to 1.5%. Our 30 day readmission, that is return to the hospital for any reason after discharge for a primary hip or knee replacement, was 3.3% for hips and 3.4% for knees; both of which are essentially half of what the national benchmarking average is for 30 day readmission.
By collecting and reviewing this data we continually strive to improve the outcomes of our patients. As you can see from our 2013 data our length of stay is equal to or better than the national average, our risk of infection is lower, the risk of readmission to the hospital within 30 days of surgery is essentially half that of the national benchmarking and the probability of being discharged to home is greater than 90%, again significantly better than the national benchmarking data. We feel that through the combination of standardized pathways, preoperative education and preparation, and maximizing the patient’s health and fitness prior to surgery, we are able to obtain data that exceeds national benchmarking data. It is this comprehensive approach to joint replacement that has made the Joint Center at Valley Medical Center #1 in the state of Washington for the last 4 years in a row. For more information visit our website at Valley Medical Center.org.