Successful Transition to Same Calendar Day Discharge in Total Joint Arthroplasty at an Academic Center

Arthroplast Today. 2024 Mar 16:27:101354. doi: 10.1016/j.artd.2024.101354. eCollection 2024 Jun.


Background: There has been a shift toward same-day discharge (SDD) in total joint arthroplasty (TJA) in recent years. Our clinical standard had been next-day discharge, but the COVID pandemic led to a hospital bed shortage, causing us to shift to SDD directly from the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). The aim of our project was to investigate if the SDD protocol was successful and if it changed complications or 90-day readmission rates. Our secondary aim was to investigate if the protocol created disparities in patient selection.

Methods: A retrospective review compared the first 100 patients intended to discharge from PACU to the 100 patients prior to the SDD protocol undergoing elective primary TJA procedures at our academic institution from September 1, 2020, to March 23, 2021. The SDD protocol started on November 19, 2020.

Results: During this SDD period, 98% (98/100) of patients were successfully discharged from the PACU. The 90-day readmission rate changed from 0% to 2% (P = .4975), and the overall complication rate changed from 2% to 5% (P = .4448). Most complications were manipulation under anesthesia to improve range of motion. Manipulations under anesthesia changed from 1% to 4% (P = .3687).

Conclusions: The transition to same SDD in TJA at our academic institution was successfully implemented without markedly increasing complications, readmissions, or changing patient selection. The COVID-19 pandemic likely influenced the recovery of patients before and after the protocol. Future studies are needed to validate this data during the post-COVID era.

Keywords: Disparities; Outpatient; Total joint arthroplasty.