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Arthroplasty Today. 2016 March; 2(1): 1.
Published online 2016 February 10. doi:  10.1016/j.artd.2016.01.003
PMCID: PMC4957166

Arthroplasty Today and team learning

The orthopaedic joint replacement team is very different today than even a decade ago. Although the surgeon is still the leader, excellent outcomes depend on the help and interactions of physician assistants; nurse practitioners; office, floor, and operating room nurses; surgical technicians; physical and occupational therapists; and medical assistants—to name but a few. Medical student and resident support may be part of the team if the practice is affiliated with an academic program.

One of the most important elements of a successful joint replacement team is “buy-in” from each member that they make a substantial contribution to the ultimate result. A keystone in that accountability is specialty education. Depending on their particular area of expertise, joint replacement education of these team members can be complex, expensive, and subsequently lacking.

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) has recognized the need for educating joint replacement team members in specialty content and offers ongoing educational opportunities that make a career in joint reconstruction rewarding and successful. The 26th AAHKS Annual Meeting in November 2016 will mark the sixth year of the Orthopaedic Team Member Course. This course was specifically created for nonphysician team members and offers continuing medical education credit. Having the shared venue with the Annual Meeting further allows for team-building opportunities.

In addition to this didactic offering, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and surgical technologists have general specialty journals that they may subscribe to; some offer continuing medical education credit. The Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants, Orthopaedic Nursing, and the AST Journal may have joint replacement content, but this information is sporadic, and subscriptions may be expensive. AAHKS has a recommendation to overcome these challenges.

The AAHKS journal Arthroplasty Today is a tool to foster discussion of joint replacement issues and act as a teaching and education tool for your entire orthopaedic unit. Because it is an open-access journal, Arthroplasty Today is free. Team members can create a new account and sign up for quarterly e-mail issues at www.ArthroplastyToday.org by selecting “New Content Alerts” in the “Journal Info” menu.

Arthroplasty Today is an ideal springboard for the whole orthopaedic team because it is a quarterly journal, is primarily case based, and also has office tips and surgical techniques that are relevant for all members of the joint replacement staff. The “Arthroplasty in Patients with Rare Conditions” feature is very helpful for preoperative evaluation, surgical care, and follow-up of patients with uncommon but relevant conditions that lead to joint replacement. The journal’s fast publication time guarantees that content is timely and up to date. Arthroplasty Today, published by AAHKS, is the official journal of the American Joint Replacement Registry, and research and commentary directly relating to data from the American Joint Replacement Registry is presented. Team members are often from hospitals that contribute data to this registry.

Our new reality in joint replacement care is one of a high level of accountability for excellent outcomes. More than ever before, outcomes depend on a dedicated, specialized, and engaged team from multiple disciplines in the care model. AAHKS has anticipated this need, and through educational opportunities such as our annual Orthopaedic Team Member Course and Arthroplasty Today open-access journal, we feel that a joint reconstruction team can be created and supported. Excellent outcomes will follow—as will enhancement of rewarding and successful careers of the professionals involved.

Footnotes

One or more of the authors of this paper have disclosed potential or pertinent conflicts of interest, which may include receipt of payment, either direct or indirect, institutional support, or association with an entity in the biomedical field which may be perceived to have potential conflict of interest with this work. For full disclosure statements refer to http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.artd.2016.01.003.

Appendix. Supplementary data

Conflict of Interest Statement for McGrory:
Conflict of Interest Statement for Della Valle:

Articles from Arthroplasty Today are provided here courtesy of Elsevier