St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll opened a new orthopedic unit to focus on care for patients who have had orthopedic surgery, or need post-surgery skilled care. Orthopedic rooms are located in an existing inpatient area that is located across the walkway, on the third floor of the main hospital building. Fourteen rooms are dedicated to caring for orthopedic patients.
“The environment of the orthopedic unit is designed to add comfort to patients’ recovery and aid in the healing process,” said Karen Timm, Vice President for Patient Services. “In addition, having orthopedic patients centralized provides a focused rehabilitation setting, allowing our nursing and therapy staff to specialize in caring for patients who have undergone knee, hip, or other related procedures.”
As regional leaders in orthopedic services, Dr. Thomas Dulaney and Dr. Chris Nelson, orthopedic surgeons at St. Anthony, aided by hospital staff performed 871 procedures in the past year, with the majority of those being knee or hip replacement. The typical inpatient stay for a joint replacement patient is 2-3 days.
The location and the fact that the area is dedicated to orthopedic patients adds an additional layer of infection control by keeping orthopedic surgery patients away from other, potentially contagious, inpatients. And, should a patient suddenly require a higher level of care following surgery, or during recovery, the Critical Care Unit is staffed and located just down the hall. “The combination of having a team of physicians, nurses, and therapy staff who work together on a dedicated unit means patients will experience better coordination of care and, ultimately, quicker recoveries,” said Sara Payer, director of the new orthopedic unit and critical care unit.