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Geriatric Fracture Center, Evarts Joint Center Recieve Joint Commission Certification

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Highland Hospital’s Geriatric Fracture Center has received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ by demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety in caring for older adults with fractures; the Evarts Joint Center, which first earned this recognition for hip and knee joint replacement in 2008, has been recertified by demonstrating its continued adherence to nationally recognized patient safety and quality standards.

The Joint Commission is a national not-for-profit health care accrediting organization.

Both the Evarts Joint Center and the Geriatric Fracture Center underwent voluntary and rigorous on-site surveys March 21 and 22. They earned disease-specific care certification by demonstrating that they follow national patient-care standards; use evidence-based guidelines to deliver high-quality outcomes; and use performance measures and improvement initiatives to continually improve care.

"We're very gratified to receive this recognition from the Joint Commission," said Daniel A. Mendelson, M.D., Co-Director of the Geriatric Fracture Center along with Stephen L. Kates, M.D., Susan Friedman, M.D. is the center’s Research Director. "Our research demonstrates that a systematic, evidence-based approach to the care of older adults with fractures can raise the standard of care and improve patient outcomes."

The GFC is dedicated to the care of elderly patients who suffer fractures. Since the program was implemented at Highland in 2004, Dr. Kates, Dr. Mendelson and Dr. Friedman have improved patient outcomes and helped hospitals in this country and internationally to adopt their model. Their approach focuses on co-management of patients by the orthopaedic surgeon who repairs the fracture and a geriatrician or internal medicine specialist who cares for the overall health of the patient. They have published numerous studies on their treatment methods and recently led efforts to develop the United States’ first "Blue Book" on fragility fracture care.

"We're very proud of our team’s contributions on behalf of patients," Dr. Kates said. "We have developed some of the best practices in fragility care in the country. And because of our approach, our patients have shorter lengths of stay, fewer complications and fewer hospital readmissions."

With its re-certification, the Evarts Joint Center shows its adherence to quality care for patients needing hip and knee replacements.

"When you’re marked against a national standard, it’s good to know that outside, independent observations verify the work you’re doing," said Allen Boyd Jr., M.D., Chief of Orthopaedics at Highland Hospital. "For Evarts to be recertified lets us know that we continue to meet, if not exceed, the level we set the bar at when we were last certified."

The Evarts Joint Center is the largest provider of joint replacement in the area. The team includes a network of orthopaedists, geriatricians, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, social workers and occupational therapists.

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