Overcoming Resistance to Implementation of Integrated Care Pathways in Orthopaedics

Division of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Department of Surgery, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, 701 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62794. E-mail address for K.J. Saleh: .
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Impact Factor: 5.28). 07/2013; 95(14):e1001-6. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01312
Source: PubMed


The future of orthopaedic surgery will be shaped by unprecedented demographic and economic challenges, necessitating movement to so-called "second curve" innovations in the delivery of care. Implementation of integrated care pathways (ICPs) may be one solution to imminent cost and access pressures facing orthopaedic patients in this era of health-care accountability and reform. ICPs can lower costs and the duration of hospital stay while facilitating better outcomes through enhanced interspecialty communication. As with any innovation at the crossroads of paradigm change, implementation of integrated care pathways for orthopaedics may elicit surgeons' concern on a variety of grounds and on levels ranging from casual questioning to vehement opposition. No single method is always effective in promoting cooperation and adoption, so a combination of strategies offers the best chance of success. With a special focus on total joint replacement, we consider general patterns of resistance to change, styles of conflict, and specific issues that may underlie orthopaedic surgeon resistance to implementation of integrated care pathways. Methods to facilitate and sustain orthopaedic surgeon engagement in implementation of such pathways are discussed.

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