The new Joint Replacement and Spine Unit at Williamsport Regional Medical Center meets the unique recovery needs of joint and spine patients and promotes healing and wellness. Its home-like, therapeutic environment surrounds patients with positive support from everyone, including fellow patients, a coach, family members and a dedicated orthopedic staff.
It is an ideal place to begin the challenging and important work toward regaining mobility and independence at an appropriate, measured pace.
With an intense focus on quality care, safety and outstanding clinical outcomes, our orthopedic and neurosurgeons, together with an exceptional nursing team, use the latest scientific approaches and evidence-based practice to plan each patient's care from pre-hospitalization through the operating room, to the Joint Replacement and Spine Unit, therapy, and even post-discharge to home.
The process begins with educational sessions named "Joint Camp" prior to surgery.
The sessions ensure that everything is in place for a patient's hospital stay and continuing recovery at home. They also help create supportive relationships among patients which continue during therapy and in classes where they meet to prepare for their transition to home.
We also encourage patients to choose a friend or family member to be a "coach." The individual receives training to help with caregiving and how to play a supportive role during recovery.
In many ways, the Joint Replacement and Spine Unit is modeled to be more like a home than a hospital. Our patients wear T-shirts, shorts and other attire that promotes activity.
Ergonomically designed chairs in each of the 24 private rooms enable patients to spend more time out of bed.
The private rooms help to maintain confidentiality and reduce interruptions.
The nursing stations are close to the patients for quick assistance. The rooms' amenities include private bathrooms, Internet access, flatscreen televisions with access to educational videos on topics related to recovery and family zones with space for visitors and a comfortable place for a loved one to sleep.
The gym is on the same floor as the unit and used exclusively for joint and spine patients. It is an inspiring environment, with a wall of windows overlooking views of the Susquehanna Valley, where patients work on specific care plans with assistance from our dedicated orthopedic therapy team including physical therapists and occupational therapists and track their achievement of milestones on a whiteboard depicting the river walk.
Everything in the Joint Replacement and Spine Unit is geared toward our patients' return to their previous lifestyle, or one that's even better with the benefit of this elective orthopedic surgery.
The gym includes simulated areas for instruction and practice of activities of daily living, including:
Kitchen (cooking, fresh baked goods daily)
Living room (in and out of chairs)
Bedroom (in and out of bed, dressing)
Private bathroom (toilet, tub, dressing)
Automobile (in and out of car)
"Flight" of steps (up and down stairs)
Ramp/curb (walking outdoors)
A network of dedicated caregivers ensures that patients meet their specific recovery goals and can return home without unnecessary delays or interruption to therapy.
While the total Joint and Spine programs at Susquehanna Health have always been very strong, this new unit creates a destination center and enhances the dedicated structure provided for our joint and spine patients.
Because of the unit's exclusive focus, caregivers and families can interact more to collaborate on each patient's care. This is ideal for incorporating best practices and clinical pathways to provide the best outcomes and highest standard of care for our patients.
Beucler is the administrative director for Perioperative, GI and Orthopedic Services at Susquehanna Health.