2017-18 Sentara Orthopedics Annual Report

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Differentiated Orthopedic Care at Sentara

CareSense Collects Functional Outcomes

Aging baby boomers are living longer than past generations and staying active, spurring demand for joint replacements to relieve joint pain. At Sentara Orthopedics, we take great pride in providing efficient, effective and appropriate joint pain care. This is a mission made easier by our ability to track and collect patient outcomes and performance through a new digital platform.

Called CareSense, the tool helps identify those who may benefit from joint replacement and then evaluates improvements in their lifestyle after surgery. It also helps physicians recommend care options based on survey results and track patients’ progress
after surgery.

For patients, CareSense allows them to communicate their pain and functionality levels in a standardized survey format. It maximizes the time they can spend with the doctor. And it informs and empowers them.

At its core, CareSense involves a couple of steps:

  • Patients arrive for an initial joint pain evaluation and fill out a brief survey on an electronic tablet while they sit in the waiting room. The survey asks how well they can perform activities such as rising from a chair, and how much pain they feel doing so. There are multiple surveys used to address the pain and functionality for specific joints.
  • Physicians can use these surveys to help guide care options, reviewing the results with the patient during office visits. Physicians also have the ability to compare preoperative to postoperative pain and functionality levels of their patients. By jump-starting the conversation, CareSense helps physicians make the most effective use of time with their patients and focus on care.

Powerful Tool for Joint Replacement Innovation

After the initial evaluation, patients who pursue a joint replacement fill out the survey at periodic time intervals following their operation. Those who decide during their visit not to pursue a joint replacement do not complete additional surveys.

CareSense goes beyond just saving time when asking about pain and functionality. Physicians can compare responses to those of other patients they have seen in their practice. This comparison helps with decision making and managing patients’ expectations. It can even inspire patients about how surgery and recovery might go.

Finally, CareSense encourages patient engagement throughout joint replacement care. We believe that engagement leads to empowerment. And that empowerment promotes better health and a better quality of life.

CareSense is just one of the many ways that we at Sentara Orthopedics are improving health every day.