Horizon surgery initiatives see an extra 115 patients receive hip or knee replacements over four-month period

All New Brunswickers deserve accessible and quality health care and a positive patient experience, and this initiative is one example of how Horizon is committed to providing that every day

(HORIZON) – Over the last four months,115 additional orthopedic surgeries have been performed by Horizon health care teams, resulting in a 35 per cent reduction in the wait list for patients waiting longer than a year for a hip or knee replacement.

These results are thanks to various process improvement initiatives, such as the high-intensity interval theatre (HIIT) initiative, which saw elective hip and knee surgeries performed outside of normal operating hours.

“We recognize there is still work to be done, but this data clearly shows how we are improving access to surgery at Horizon,” said Margaret Melanson, Horizon’s interim President and CEO. “I am grateful for the staff and physicians that have made this possible and am optimistic that we are trending in the right direction.”

As of April 3, 2023, there were 440 people waiting over a year for hip or knee replacement surgery; these patients are commonly referred to as long-waiters. This is an improvement from November 30, 2022, when 681 people were on this list.

Horizon’s original target was to complete between 72 and 96 surgeries between the end of November 2022 and the end of March 2023, with each health region having their own target.

All four areas surpassed their targets:

“Based on feedback from staff, physicians, and anesthetists, the HIIT initiative was structured differently in each area whereas some surgeries took place on Saturdays, some on Sundays, and some were completed after-hours by running operating rooms for 12-hour days, or longer, to complete the additional surgeries,” said Amy McCavour, Executive Regional Director, Co-Leader of Surgical and Intensive Care.

Planning days and site visits are currently taking place across the four Horizon areas to plan for the next steps in improving access to surgical services at Horizon.

“We plan to focus on all long-waiting surgeries between April and June and make adjustments by area on how to complete additional surgeries for other surgical services with long-waiting patients,” said Dr. Trish Bryden, Executive Clinical/Academic Department Head, Co-Leader of Surgical and Intensive Care. “Expanding access to surgical services is a key priority for Horizon, and we are proud of the work our staff are doing to help us achieve this.”

Other ongoing initiatives to increase access to surgical services include:

Improving access to care, specifically surgical services, for New Brunswickers is a key priority for Horizon’s plan to ensure all New Brunswickers receive the quality care they need.   This plan consists of three other priorities, including the retention and recruitment of physicians, nurses and staff; improving overall patient experience; and improving patient flow at our health care facilities. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at HorizonNB.ca.   This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.

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For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations