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Hospital awarded certification for knee, hip replacement program

July 28, 2014 By Kimberly Gensicki

New Britain [July 28 2014] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its Knee and Hip Replacement Program, having demonstrated compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety in disease-specific care. 

The certification award recognizes HOCC’s dedication to continuous compliance with the commission’s standards. 

In May, the hospital had a rigorous on-site review by a Joint Commission expert who evaluated HOCC for compliance with standards of care specific to patients’ and families’ needs. These included infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management. 

“This award confirms our Joint Center’s dedication to providing the best care to our patients having joint replacement surgery. This is facilitated by a team approach in which the patient is guided through the system effortlessly with proper preoperative education, excellent hospital care and appropriate rehabilitation after surgery,” says HOCC Joint Center Medical Director and orthopedic surgeon Robert Carangelo, M.D.

HOCC offers the latest techniques in hip and knee replacements, extensive patient education, and comprehensive post-surgical care and rehabilitation. Carangelo adds the center also uses “robust research tools for collecting outcome data on all our patients so that care can be constantly updated and improved.” 

“Joint Commission certification says to our patients and families that we’ve achieved something prestigious,” says Dianne Vye, RN, MSN, Joint Replacement Program coordinator, noting the survey included a rigorous review of the knee and hip replacement program’s processes, improvement measures, staff competency and care coordination. “This recognition acknowledges the efforts of the Joint Center Team in demonstrating our commitment to maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide to the community.” 

Among the unit’s initiatives have been data collection; an emphasis on best practice of joint replacement patients going home with home care services (e.g., physical therapy, visiting nurse) vs. to a rehabilitation facility; and implementation of a baseball-themed patient pathway used to help joint replacement patients achieve progressive goals — bases — starting on day of surgery. 

The knee is the most common joint replaced and surgery replaces diseased or damaged parts of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (lower leg bone) and worn cartilage. For patients whose knees have been only partially affected by osteoarthritis, HOCC offers partial knee replacement. During hip replacement surgery, diseased and damaged parts of the hip joint are replaced with specially designed metal and plastic “ball and socket” parts. Patients benefit from advances in surgical techniques that include smaller incisions and new technology. 

The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, is designed to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission, founded in 1951, is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. 

The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) is a 414-bed, 32-bassinet acute care teaching hospital with two campuses, New Britain General and Bradley Memorial in Southington. A member of Hartford HealthCare, HOCC services include emergency, inpatient, surgery, laboratory, outpatient, and radiology. Among specialty areas are cardiovascular care, metabolic health, obstetrics, oncology, orthopedics, and psychiatry/behavioral health. For more information, please visit www.thocc.org ; for a physician referral, call 1-800-321-6244.