Ben Robinson is a physical therapist with a master’s degree in public health administration. His background perfectly suits him to oversee the rapid expansion of in-home physical therapy staff that Our Lady of Lourdes has dedicated to patients with hip or knee replacements.

There are many studies that demonstrate how in-home physical therapy after a hip or knee replacement lowers infection for a variety of reasons. However, the staff of Lourdes At Home receives special training in care for patients who have had a hip or knee replacement, representing a patient resource far greater than exercise alone. In fact, Lourdes At Home’s in-home therapists are a key part of the ministry’s orthopedic multidisciplinary teams.

“Our staff is trained to guide the patient through therapies that work best for them in a home setting,” explains Robinson. “They can help patients through that first couple of weeks with functionality, but they also report to the patient’s surgeon and nurses on their progress with pain management. In addition, they educate patients in individualized techniques to prevent surgical site infections, and they are able to assess the patient’s approach to nutrition and rehabilitation. That means, after several weeks when patients come back to the ministry for outpatient therapy, we really have a good understanding of how that patient is doing and what specific actions might speed their rehabilitation toward normal mobility and function.”

“The reality of tripling a staff with the right kind of in-home physical therapists was challenging,” said Robinson. However, the unique staff selection process allowed for new ideas and innovations in the in-home physical therapy process to be explored and implanted.

“Having people from a variety of backgrounds, for example, nursing homes and in-home rehabilitation, helped us innovate,” said Robinson. “We like people to think outside the box and our shared commitment to best practices has really helped propel innovation and, as a result, better patient outcomes.”