For the second time, Hardin Memorial Health’s Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program has earned the Joint Commission’s advanced certification, one of the highest distinctions from the nationally recognized accrediting body.
Dan Martin, director of rehabilitation and wound care at HMH, said recertification of the distinction reflects the staff’s self accountability to success and patient care.
“It means that we are holding ourselves up by volunteering to be part of this program to be held to a higher standard,” he said. “It says we take the very best care of our patients and that we are holding ourself to that higher standard.”
In 2017, HMH’s program was the first in Kentucky to receive the certification.
Standardized performance measures for The Joint Commission’s Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification program include how well they handle anesthesia, postoperative ambulation on the day of surgery, how quickly a patient is discharged to home and preoperative functional/health status assessment.
Although the requirement for postoperative ambulation is within a day of surgery, Martin said the internal goal at HMH is two hours.
“We’ve hit that 100 percent for a couple years now,” he said. “That’s pretty remarkable.”
Martin said if a patient elects to have surgery, more than 40 people support them on the continuum of care.
“It’s a coordinated effort,” he said. “It’s very regimented … to make sure they stay on a schedule and we can get them to their next level of care as soon as possible. It just helps to have everybody working together to make all that happen. Which isn’t typical in a lot of hospitals.”
Program Director Sandy Peace said from the patient’s office visit with their orthopedic surgeon to preadmission education, to surgery and inpatient post-operative care, and then to outpatient physical and occupational therapy, the Joint Commission scrutinized every aspect of the HMH program.
“When a patient comes to HMH for a hip or knee replacement, they encounter 40-plus people that play essential roles in their care. Because the HMH team works together effectively, patients experience positive outcomes and low readmission rates,” Peace said.
Sharon Wright, HMH vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer, said HMH’s Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program sets the standard among Kentucky orthopedic programs.
“This second honor showcases that everyone on the team, from surgeons to the many nurses to the outpatient therapists, do whatever it takes to deliver the best patient care,” she said.