The Halo Effect: An Unintended Benefit of Care Pathways

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine if implementation of a simplified care pathway for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) would affect outcomes of total hip arthroplasty (THA) patients in the same health care system. Data were collected from a total of 5,095 consecutive THA patients in the year before and 2 years after implementation of the care pathway for TKA patients. Postimplementation increases were observed in both early activity (p < 0.0001) and continuous urinary catheter avoidance (p < 0.0001) among THA patients. These improvements in protocol adherence were associated with decreased complications (p < 0.0001), fewer 30-day readmissions (p < 0.0019), and decreased hospital length of stay (p < 0.0001). Based on these results, the implementation of a simplified care pathway for TKA patients can also improve outcomes for THA patients in the same health care system.

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