Inside the Patient Experience: The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center

The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center is the big, beautiful building that’s attached to The Christ Hospital main campus.  A lot of people are familiar with the building from driving by, or maybe even from the Colin Farrell movie, “Killing of a Sacred Deer.” But what do they actually do at The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center? In our video this month, I learned all about The Joint & Spine Center from Herb Caillouet, Executive Director of The Joint & Spine Center. Herb showed us around the rooms, discussed the different procedures offered, talked about the differences between The Joint & Spine Center and other local hospitals, and even touched on the patient experience. 

To learn more about the patient experience, I thought I would also talk with an actual patient. Kristen is a friend of mine who started having some hip trouble. She knew she needed to pay attention to her health. After a discussion with her doctor, testing, and physical therapy, Kristen found out she had to have a hip replacement. 

Kristen said, “The onset of my hip trouble came on quickly... pain, stiffness, weakness and inability to sleep at night.  I started meeting with doctors to determine what was going on. I was only 47 years old and a replacement was not a thought in my mind! Several X-rays, an MRI, weeks of physical therapy, steroid shots and swimming, and I was not seeing any improvement. In fact, my condition was worsening. I was suffering paralyzing pain transitioning from sitting to standing.  I called it “the summer of pain”! The moment I knew it was time when I had just pulled into the garage with a carload of groceries, I got out of the car and could not move because of the pain!  It was time...”

When I asked her about the patient experience at The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center she said, “My experience could not have been better. The check in and pre-op experience was seamless and put me at ease. My family members were very comfortable in the waiting area and were able to follow along with my surgery via the patient surgery status monitors.  They met up with me on my way to my private room. And, what a room! The rooms are large and private with lots of seating for visitors and large windows - I had a beautiful view! As a patient, I really appreciated the doorway into the room, it’s a two doorway entry and it keeps the room quiet - especially during the night! Everyone I interacted with and the nursing staff was outstanding, I felt I was in great hands.”

She said, “If you have a condition and are considering a joint replacement you will know when it’s time.  For me, it was a quality of life thing. I consider myself as having a fairly active lifestyle and when severe pain was preventing me from doing simple daily tasks, I knew it was time. I feel I did everything in my power to educate myself and avoid replacement surgery.  In the end, it was time. And, the results are fantastic! Standing up the first time pain free was like a miracle! I’m so thankful to the skilled surgeons, medical and nursing staffs for giving me my life back!”  

On my tour of The Joint & Spine Center, I saw what Kristen experienced in action. Herb Caillouet showed us around the facility. Herb said, “The Joint & Spine Center is a dedicated building, a dedicated facility, specific for musculoskeletal (join and spine) care. There are 87 inpatient beds and its own 14 operating rooms, everything soup-to-nuts to take care of orthopedic, neurosurgery, podiatry, and musculoskeletal cases. We leveraged what was already going on in the main hospital when we opened this facility three years ago. The teams that were already treating our kinds of patients were picked up from the operating rooms and from the nursing floor, and we brought them here to let them have their own environment.”  

As Kristen mentioned, a large part of the patient experience are the patient rooms. Herb explained the uniqueness of the rooms, “Each room has three zones. There is a caregiver zone that is divided away from where the patients are, a patient zone in the middle, and then a family zone. 

At the footwall of the patient’s bed there is a TV monitor that is specifically for network TV and patient education. The bottom TV is hooked into your Epic chart, your electronic medical record…Your day is planned, all the medications that you can be given, everything you need to know about your caregivers, everything is on this particular monitor.” 

From the chairs to the restrooms, Herb explained that everything is specifically designed for The Joint & Spine Center patients. “The patient’s handheld device can open curtains, close privacy curtains. Basically lights, gas, and water - you can control everything from the bedside, including where you plug your phone in and your iPad. Each restroom is specifically designed with grab bars and rails that allow you to fold something up, get access to a toilet. There is a big walk-in shower, so you can move about and really take care of yourself here and practice for when you get home.”

With excellent patient care, incredible rooms, the latest technology, and so much more, The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center provides the best treatment from joint replacements to complex spine procedures. Struggling with back pain? Need physical therapy for a sports injury? Contact The Joint & Spine Center and make now your moment to start putting yourself and your health first.