Use of an interdisciplinary case management team approach in the treatment of patients with hip or knee arthroplasty has resulted in a decrease in length of stay and achievement of functional outcomes at the authors’ center. Case management was used to standardize patient care and to measure each patient’s progress toward independence against established criteria of treatment outcomes. Outcomes established for physical therapy were ambulation distance, performance of a home exercise program, stair climbing, amount of active knee flexion (for knee arthroplasties), and incorporation of hip precautions. Outcomes for occupational therapy were bed mobility, chair transfers, toilet transfers, and activities of daily living with emphasis on lower extremity dressing. The case management team consists of an occupational therapist, an occupational therapy assistant, a physical therapist, and two nurses. The specific role of the occupational therapy personnel in this team approach is to maximize, by discharge, a patient’s functional level of independence in activities of daily living. Data from a 6-month period indicated that occupational therapy goals were achieved for 79% of the 33 knee arthroplasty patients and 73% of the 37 hip arthroplasty patients.

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