For new joint replacement techniques: Greenwich Hospital wins Thompson Award

Greenwich Hospital has been named recipient of the Connecticut Hospital Association’s 2012 John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data.

The award was given at the organization’s 94th Annual Meeting on June 27 and the Greenwich Hospital team, led by anesthesiologist Mark Chrostowski, MD, is being recognized for its comprehensive regimen for joint replacement surgery. Total knee and hip replacement surgeries have become two of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States and, according to the hospital, this new multi-modal approach has shown to reduce both pain and side effects of medication following joint replacement surgery.

Dr. Chrostowski worked collaboratively with Greenwich Hospital’s joint replacement program coordinator Tori Kroll, RN, and pharmacy systems manager James Duffy, MS, RPh, plus other members of the hospital’s anesthesiology and orthopedics departments.


The results were dramatic according to the data from medical records and patient surveys.

“Of the 424 patients for whom we collected data between January 2011 and February 2012, patients who received this new protocol, on average, used 40% less opioids during their entire hospital stay, and the average use of patient-controlled analgesia [morphine pump)] decreased by 47%,” Dr. Chrostowski said.

The approach begins prior to surgery by starting the patient on non-opioid medications to control pain and inflammation. Because opioid use was reduced, so were the side effects, such as nausea and itchiness, from these potent medications. For instance, nausea and vomiting decreased by 49% (31% vs. 16%) and 54% (17% vs. 8%) respectively.

“The goal is to return each patient back to their regular activities with reduced pain and a better range of motion,” said Dr. Chrostowski, who sees potential for using this approach for patients undergoing bariatric, major gynecologic, oncologic and other types of general surgery.

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