Source: The News-Enterprise
Hardin Memorial Health’s aim to provide improved patient care got another notch in its belt.
This week, HMH’s total hip and total knee replacement program earned the Joint Commission’s advanced certification, the highest distinction from the nationally recognized accrediting body.
It’s the first program in Kentucky to do so.
“We know we have a world-class total hip and total knee replacement program,” said Dennis Johnson, HMH president and CEO, in a news release. “This advanced certification showcases our team’s commitment to patient care excellence and confirms the lengths they go to for patients every day.”
The Joint Commission is considered the nation’s premier health care accrediting body. It accredits and certifies 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
Sandy Peace, director of HMH’s program, said the Joint Commission undertook a comprehensive review of its elective total knee and total hip replacements. She said the evaluators looked at communication amongst the team and with patients, the use of evidence-based practices and the education HMH provides to patients and their families.
“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,” Johnson said.
Peace noted if a patient elects to have surgery, more than 60 people support them on the continuum of care. According to Peace, that can include social workers who are called in to help a patient who may not have an adequate support system when they are discharged from the hospital.
“It’s remarkable how many members of the HMH team play a role,” Peace said. “We know that if everyone involved in knee or hip surgery works together effectively, positive patient outcomes and low readmission rates result.”
To ensure seamless care, the team meets monthly to review data on total hip and total knee replacements.
HMH Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Jeff Been, M.D., said the team’s patient-centered approach is critical to success.
“Before we recommend surgery, we want to know our patients’ goals,” Been said. “We want each person to make an informed decision about the care plan best suited for them.”
Been praised the post operative nursing and therapy staff who make sure patients are up and moving within 120 minutes of surgery.
“Our clinic staff and the HMH nurses, and the physical and occupational therapists make this program the best of the best,” he said. “They are the front line of the total hip and total knee replacement team.”
The Joint Commission’s Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Certification follows the program being named one of top 36 in the country by Becker’s Hospital Review late last year. This accolade puts HMH alongside programs including those at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Becker’s based the ranking on 30-day readmission rates, a standard health care quality measurement that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services uses. The national average rate of readmission after these surgeries is 4.6. HMH’s rate is 3.2.
Peace said the Joint Commission certification will be reviewed annually.
“We’ll keep striving to retain this certification because we know it affirms we are doing the very best for HMH total hip and total knee replacement patients,” she said.