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Improved Clinical Pathway Services (ICPS)

ICPS is a new innovation that will help hip and knee replacement patients to prepare for surgery more efficiently, and recover and return to their normal lives as quick as possible. This is achieved by allowing specialists to oversee every step of the medical journey in accordance with the patient’s FP.


Please note: Since ICPS is the Fedhealth Designated Service Provider (DSP) for non-PMB hip and knee replacements, you will have no benefit if you decline to use them for non-PMB hip or knee replacements. In other words, the Scheme will NOT pay for the hospital, surgeon, prosthesis or anything related to the procedure.

A co-payment applies to joint replacements, including non-PMB hip and knee replacements on certain options. Please see the member guide for each option to see the co-payment applicable to these procedures.


The clinical pathway

The ICPS clinical pathway has a number of essential features including:

  • A selected network of orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
  • Appropriate hospitals that meet necessary productivity, accessibility and clinical standards.
  • A multidisciplinary pre-op assessment clinic to qualify and prepare
  • A rapid recovery plan that includes pre-operative strengthening, physiological anaesthesia, minimally traumatic surgery and aggressive postoperative physiotherapy according to an established pathway
  • Continuous recording of patient reported outcomes and operative clinical outcomes
  • Feedback to relevant healthcare professionals to stimulate continuous quality improvement
  • Demonstrating a value proposition to both patients and funders of care
  • Recording patient satisfaction in hospital and post discharge and reporting this to funders 


Preparation is half the battle won

Patients will get to meet their surgeon and receive a thorough briefing on all available treatment options.


Patients’ overall experience is improved due to high quality care and high quality services, such as minimally invasive surgery – smaller incisions; minimal tissue handling and thereby less trauma to skin and muscles; careful and active prevention of bleeding by ensuring that the surgical field is dry resulting in less blood loss (thereby doing away with the need for catheters, drains and blood transfusions in most cases).


The physiotherapy

Patients have access to physiotherapy pre-habilitation and rehabilitation services before and after surgery. The physiotherapist works closely with the patients to ensure that they are properly prepared for the surgery. The physiotherapy team assesses muscle strength, joint range of motion and functional capacity. This information will be assessed again at three to six months after the joint replacement to monitor progress.


Recovery process

ICPS uses a process known as ‘enhanced recovery’. Enhanced recovery is an evidence-based approach designed to help patients go home to their loved ones after surgery quicker, reducing the average hospital stay for hip and knee replacements to just three days.


Individual daily goals are set for each patient, from pre-op to recovery phase, and progress is monitored by a team of experts to ensure that the patient stays on track and to deal with changes if and when they arise.


While the recovery process is unique to every individual, the milestones below are a good general guideline of what to expect from the enhanced recovery process:


Day 0: The day of surgery

    • Drink and eat light meals
    • Take a few steps and sit in a chair
    • Begin exercises as shown by the physiotherapist.

Day 1: After surgery

    • Eat and drink normally
    • Walk with a frame
    • Continue exercises as shown by the physiotherapist.

Day 2: Onwards

    • Get showered and dressed
    • Walk with sticks or crutches
    • Practice walking up and down stairs
    • Knee replacements must be able to bend and straighten their knee
    • Hip replacements will be seen by the physiotherapist



In summary

Improved Clinical Pathway Services is designed to give patients access to world-class specialists to inform and support them through every step of their journey. This ensures peace of mind that informed decisions are made at every junction, that the operation itself is minimally invasive and recovery is as quick as possible.


To find an ICPS surgeon and benefit from this great new service, visit www.icpservices.co.za or call 0860 002 153.




To read more about the innovative ICPS benefit, download the full document here.



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