Organisation: Barwon Health 

Contact Person: Peter Schoch

Contact Email Address: petersc@barwonhealth.org.au 

Abstract

As the population ages and obesity increases, the demand for hip and knee joint replacements (arthroplasty) and subsequent post-operative review appointments grows. The Australian Orthopaedic Association recommends patients should be reviewed post-operatively within six months of surgery, at one to two years post-op, at five years post op, then every two years thereafter depending on implant risk profile. The basic premise of reviewing joint replacement patients is to identify complications or joints at risk of failure. Historically these patients have been seen by doctors in these follow up clinics, however more recently, up-skilled physiotherapists have led assessment and management of low risk joint replacement reviews. Whilst this model frees up orthopaedic doctors’ time, it does not reduce the burden of outpatient review appointments. This proposal seeks to audit the existing cohort of Barwon Health’s joint replacement patients to identify those at low and high risk of complications or prosthetic failure. Low risk patients will be transitioned to a ‘patient led remote review’ model, reducing demand for face-to-face review appointments after the first post-operative year. High risk or symptomatic patients will continue with routine face-to-face reviews. This project is anticipated to improve presently high ‘Did Not Attend’ rates, reduce unnecessary appointment impost for low-risk patients and improve outpatient clinics’ capacity for reviews in high-risk patients; all within existing resources.