Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Presentation Notes

Quality Improvement poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.


Background: An interdisciplinary team developed a patient pedometer program with a goal of increasing patient mobility and decreasing complications related to immobility in postoperative orthopedic patients

Local Problem: Postoperative mobilization improves patient outcomes such as lower rates of infection, venous thromboembolism, delirium, and length of stay. Intense postoperative mobilization improves a patient’s likelihood of discharge to home, decreasing nursing home utilization rates. The team including nurse leaders, clinical nurses and physicians applied for funding to implement an innovative solution.

Method: Orthopedic surgical patients received a wrist pedometer with an education pamphlet upon arrival on the surgical unit. The pamphlet emphasized the importance of ambulation and tracking mobility with the pedometer. The surgeons were educated on the protocol by the lead physician while nursing education included the nurse’s role in educating the patient with an emphasis on tracking steps. A data log was kept, with the nurse recording the amount of patient steps per shift. Quantitative pre-and-post data were obtained through the quality department’s database for surgical cases and outcomes including length of stay, disposition, and postoperative complications.

Results/Conclusion: The team focused on the importance of mobilization by giving pedometers to every postoperative joint patient, to decrease complications. In the three months following implementation, joint replacement patients saw a reduction in total complications by over 60% (from 18% to 11% of cases; p

Implications for Practice: The innovative use of pedometers to track steps during ambulation positively impacts outcomes. The push for progressive mobility decreases postoperative complications. This interdisciplinary approach to utilize technology, motivate, and educate patients optimizes wellness.

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