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J Interprof Care. 2013 Nov;27(6):496-500. doi: 10.3109/13561820.2013.808611. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Interprofessional collaboration may pay off: introducing a collaborative approach in an orthopaedic ward.

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  • 1Regional Hospital Holstebro, The Lundbeck Center for Fast Track Hip and Knee Surgery , Denmark .


Fast-track hip and knee surgery focuses on optimising pain management, achieving early mobilisation and shortening the length of stay in hospital. These factors make interprofessional collaboration imperative. With the aim of further diminishing the length of stay for patients admitted to an orthopaedic ward for hip or knee replacement and with inspiration from an interprofessional training unit, a daily interprofessional meeting was introduced. At this interprofessional meeting, surgeons, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists used a checklist in discussing barriers and focus areas for discharging hip and knee replacement patients and made joint decisions about which healthcare profession should handle a given task. This interprofessional collaboration was tested in a case control study comparing hospital length of stay in 75 patients treated before introduction of the daily interprofessional meeting with 88 patients treated after the introduction. The result was a significant reduction in the length of stay in hospital in total hip replacement patients (from a mean of 4.1 days (SD 2.1) to 2.7 days (SD 1.4), pā€‰<ā€‰0.05) but not in knee replacement patients (from a mean of 3.7 days (SD 1.9) to 3.1 days (SD 1.6), pā€‰=ā€‰0.33). So improving interprofessional collaboration by introducing an interprofessional daily meeting may reduce the length of stay in hospital for total hip replacement patients, but further studies are needed to explore the effect in knee replacement patients.

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