Eastern Health Completes First Outpatient Hip and Knee Replacement Surgeries  

December 16, 2022 – St. John’s, NL:  Eastern Health announced that it has started to complete hip and knee replacement surgery on an outpatient basis this week. This new, innovative approach to managing surgical waitlists for hip and knee joint replacement surgeries helps to reduce wait times and improve access to care for patients who are clinically eligible for this surgical approach.

“Eastern Health is pleased that the first patients eligible for outpatient joint replacement surgeries have now had their surgeries completed,” said Debbie Walsh, Vice President of Clinical Services with Eastern Health. “By providing outpatient surgery, patients are released to go home on the same day as their surgery. They can also recuperate quicker and in the comfort of their own homes. We are confident that this new approach will provide the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

On May 19, 2022, the provincial government announced this approach to deal with the surgical waitlist for these procedures. Since that time, significant work has been completed to prepare for these same day procedures. This includes:

  • updating the former Nuclear Medicine Unit at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital. The space extends the current day surgery unit to create spaces for recovering patients who have had outpatient joint replacement.
  • creating a room where specially trained staff will use a variety of tools and equipment to help patients get up and move sooner after their surgery.
  • putting in place four new full-time positions for two registered nurses, a physiotherapist and a clerical support person.
  • employing innovative changes in practice and protocols, which have already been proven effective for these same day procedures in other jurisdictions.

Possible candidates for same-day hip and knee replacement surgery include those with no significant medical history of heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, those who are not taking blood thinners for medical reasons, and those who have good supports at home.

“We are fortunate to have a dedicated and highly-skilled team of physicians, registered nurses, physiotherapists, and other staff at Eastern Health who have been looking forward to implementing this program to improve satisfaction for patients,” said Dr. William Moores, Divisional Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Eastern Health. “This program will increase access to care for our patients and is a positive step in maximizing efficiency and working towards national benchmarks.”

Eastern Health prides itself on delivering innovative, high quality patient care and is continuously exploring ways to advance health care for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. With same day joint replacement surgeries, patients will no longer need to stay in hospital and instead will receive outpatient follow up care resulting in improved patient satisfaction.


About Eastern Health 

Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador employing approximately 13,000 dedicated employees, over 700 medical staff, and is supported by hundreds of volunteers, including members of numerous auxiliaries and fundraising foundations. With an annual budget of approximately $1.7 billion, the authority offers the full continuum of health and community services including public health, long-term care, community services, hospital care and unique provincial programs and services. Serving a population of over 300,000, Eastern Health’s geographic boundaries extend west from St. John’s to Port Blandford including all communities on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas.

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Last updated: 2022-12-16