Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Total Care program keeping patients o - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Total Care program keeping patients on track

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Norma Johnson uses the Total Care program at home to track her progress Norma Johnson uses the Total Care program at home to track her progress
Norma does rehab exercises with physical therapist Jeniffer McManus in Gregory Norma does rehab exercises with physical therapist Jeniffer McManus in Gregory

When it comes to joint replacement surgery the first step is going under the knife. The next and critically important step is rehab. Being a rural state it's very easy for patients to skip their rehab sessions, but Avera McKennan has a program that is helping people stick with it.

Ask Norma Jo Johnson and she'll tell you, it takes a lot of hard work rehabbing a total knee replacement.

"Things are going really well, we are just two weeks past surgery date and we've made some good strides on it." Said Johnson.

These exercises are critical to getting Norma back on her feet, but some of the most important steps began before she went under the knife.

"I called it my pathway to surgery." Said Johnson

What Norma is referring to is the Avera Total Care program. It's an interactive online program that shows patients what to expect from their surgery, start to finish.  

"So for patients undergoing a total knee replacement or a total hip replacement it's just a different delivery system for their online education." Said Nancy Klinkhammer, a physical therapist and community educator at Avera McKennan.

It's so much more than an website. Total Care provides resources, videos and checklists for surgical patients. But what makes the program unique is that all the information Norma puts online is shared with her doctors and rehab staff.

"So if they have different concerns it will give me an idea how to presume their education and how to go forward with education after that." Said Klinkhammer.

This is Norma's second knee replacement surgery this year. So with her living in Gregory, having the total care program was absolutely essential. Even though she's miles away from her doctor; she's being coached and encouraged on her rehab journey.

"I found the check list to be very helpful! They took me through the whole process right from the beginning and showed videos on the exercises that we needed to be doing; they also set me up for the joint camp and it was all done through the computer." Said Johnson.

Total Care may hold all the information, but patients still have to get their new joints moving.  

"They start that right at Avera McKennan hospital before I even left they had me in the pool and had me exercising already in the water and it really does help." Said Johnson.

Pool therapy helps patients get their confidence back in a safe environment before they're discharged. Other than surgery and the short hospital stay, Norma has been able to take charge of her rehab in Gregory. 

"I found it to be very helpful, I could do it in the quiet of my own home with no pressure around me when I did it, I could leave things go back and look and make sure I had done them right." Said Johnson.

Total Care has been a great cyber coach, but physical therapist Jeniffer McManus has also kept Norma on the straight and narrow.

"Norma's been an exemplary patient! She's honestly above average than most of your total joints she's been a go-getter since the beginning." Said McManus.

Rehab can be a trying time, both physically and mentally. But total care is just another innovative tool to help makes things simpler and help people like Norma get back to the way they were.  

"We have always focused on the preoperative education piece this is just a new delivery system to make it better and make it more interactive and again just keeping up with the future of technology." Said Klinkhammer.

The Total Care program is available for any patient that has an active email address.  
Not being very tech-savvy, Norma said she was intimidated at first but picked it up quickly and easily. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.
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