News Release
  March 22, 2013

CONTACT:

Katie Delach

215-776-6063
katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu

Perelman School of Medicine


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2013/03/tha/

Pre-Op Triage of Total Hip Replacement Patients Improves Outcomes

Process Prospectively Identifies Patients At-Risk and Reduces ICU Admissions

Paper Presentation #777: Prospective Study of Unplanned Admission to the Intensive Care Unit after Total Hip Arthroplasty

PHILADELPHIA According to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, pre-operatively identifying patients with certain comorbid risk factors that may increase their chance of being admitted to the ICU following total hip replacement surgery results in fewer deaths, post-surgery complications, and unplanned ICU admissions. The full results of the study will be presented at the 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting this week in Chicago.

“With increased life expectancy and advances in medical care, more geriatric patients are receiving total hip replacements, and often they already have other health issues that may affect their risk of complication following surgery,” said Craig Israelite, MD, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery, and senior author on the study. “By identifying patient characteristics or predisposing factors that may increase the risk of complications, we’re able to better prepare to properly care for these patients in a more appropriate setting right from the start.”

Pre-operatively identifying patients who would benefit from immediate post-operative admission to the ICU may also allow physicians to minimize family and patient concerns over unanticipated post-operative ICU admission. 

The pre-operative model used for the study was developed by an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and identified at-risk patients based on several criteria, including those who were 75 years or older, had a history of heart attack, increased BMI, poor renal function, or were undergoing revision hip surgery. Members of the nursing and hospital administrative staff were also indirectly involved in the study design, resource utilization, and implementation.

Using the prediction tool, researchers were able to schedule an ICU bed in the clinic setting and appropriately adjust resource utilization. Initial results of the study found that using a pre-operative patient-assessment model results in fewer unexpected deaths, a decrease in the rate of complication (down from 12.5 percent to 2 percent), and an overall decrease in the number of unplanned ICU admissions (down from 7.1 percent to 2.2 percent).

Israelite acknowledges resource issues must be considered in an era of cost containment. “ICU care is more expensive than care on a medical-surgical floor. Further study of our criteria may result in a refined ICU admission strategy.”

In addition to Dr. Israelite, the study’s lead author is Atul F. Kamath MD, former orthopaedic surgery resident at the Perelman School of Medicine, currently completing an adult reconstruction fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.