Ahh…summer vacation, my favorite time of year. Whether it be visiting museums, trekking across our national parks, walking the beach, or just enjoying a stay-cation, my favorite vacation memories are usually the result of a little preparation and a general road map. When thinking about the joint replacement space, it seems logical that such an event deserves at least the same amount of preparation (if not more) as a summer vacation, particularly since it will probably be more expensive and more life changing than the typical summer vacation.
Last week, Tenamark founder, Sheila Tonn-Knopf, and I were fortunate enough to teach two sessions at the national conference in Nashville, Tennessee for the American Alliance of Orthopedic Executives (AAOE). While visiting with the AAOE conference attendees (mostly orthopedic practice administrators), we spent a lot of time listening to their thoughts on patient engagement in the orthopedic surgery space. A common theme was the idea that healthcare is still incredibly siloed in the sense that the physician addresses the actual surgery, the hospital addresses the actual hospital experience, the therapist addresses the therapy, etc.
Unfortunately, there is often a lack of “big picture” for patients when it is vital that they have a clear roadmap through the entire process of preparing for a joint replacement, having a joint replacement, and recovering from a joint replacement. At the end of the day, the patient just wants to be back on their feet as quickly as possible and have a better quality of life than before the surgery. However, it is harder to reach that destination as expediently as possible if there is no cohesive map providing a clear route.
As we move into late spring and prime summer vacation season starts, it might be helpful to ask, would you take an expensive road trip without a plan? Even the most adventurous souls should plan ahead for an extended journey (financially, physically, and psychologically). As Tenamark prepares to release its first patient joint replacement guide this summer, it is a perfect time to think about the journey before, during, and after surgery.