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Members of Memorial Healthcare’s orthopedic total joint replacement program, department of anesthesia services, and Memorial Administration were exceedingly pleased with the most recent report from the Medicare Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Program. The Estimated Program Quality Metrics included in the report examine a hospital’s performance in critical areas such as surgical related complications and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). Memorial’s composite quality score is 16.17, placing the hospital’s joint replacement program in the “Excellent” category.

“The Memorial Healthcare Board of Trustees and Administration has placed patient care, safety, and satisfaction foremost in the mission of this hospital. These wonderful results are a testament to the dedication of Memorial’s employees, nurses, and medical staff, to attain those objectives,” according to Brian Long, FACHE, President and CEO of Memorial Healthcare.

In just the past few months Memorial has also launched their Perioperative Surgical Home, a project developed around total hip and knee replacement. The project is a cooperative effort between Memorial’s Physician Anesthesia Services provider group led by Dr. Joseph Kochan, and Memorial’s total joint replacement surgeons led by Dr. Michael Schmidt.

According to Dr. Schmidt, “The idea came about as a result of my partner Dr. Palazeti and I wanting to make the pre-operative assessment a more efficient and patient friendly experience for our total hip and total knee patients. Dr. Kochan and his assistant, Mr. Jonathan Friedman, took off from there.”

What has resulted is a program in which the total hip and total knee replacement patient experience has become not only more efficient, but also far more robust in education of the patient along with well-designed pre and post surgical care protocols. It is the objective of the program to have the patient receive a thorough education and preparation for their surgery in order to help them understand what will happen during their hospital stay as well as what is expected after the hospital care. As Dr. Kochan says, “Well educated patients are con dent patients, and con dent patients do well.”

So far, the results have been remarkable. Press Ganey, the patient survey organization utilized by Memorial, and a great many other hospitals, to assess patient approval of a hospital, its nurses and medical staff, has reported that satisfaction scores are in the very highest percentile ratings in almost all areas of assessment. Almost every single question in the survey has generated responses in the high 90th percentile, including those asking if the patient would recommend Memorial Healthcare. Nurses, doctors, pain management, education, the facility—all of these elements are receiving top rated responses.

Pain management is a critical part in the success of the revitalized program at Memorial. “We are fortunate to have newer local anesthetic agents available that give reliable pain relief in the first 24 to 36 hours without having to heavily medicate our total joint patients,” reports Dr. Kochan, anesthesia lead for the program. “In addition, we have formulated medication protocols that start well before the incision. All in all, our current modern pain protocols have many of our joint replacement patients walking the halls the very afternoon after surgery and rarely requiring more than a pain pill.”

“In this age of healthcare, patient satisfaction, quality care, and patientsafety are the drivers of both proper care and reimbursement for services. Our new Perioperative Surgical Home for total knee and total hip replacement patients is helping Memorial make remarkable achievements in that regard,” according to Jim Barb, Vice President of Performance Improvement and Quality at Memorial. “We are rapidly becoming the highest performing organization in regard to low cost, high quality, and exceptional patient satisfaction.”

“I guess I would sum it up by saying our patients seem comfortable and con dent,” says Dr. Schmidt. “And that’s the foundation of a good result: happy patient, happy doctor. We want our patients to do well and we want Memorial to be the launch-pad for their success. This new program is certainly moving us in the right direction!”