Harlingen – "When I came in for surgery I was in serious pain," said
Patricia Buttery, former Orthopedic Center patient at Harlingen Medical
Center. "All I wanted was for this pain, in my knee, to go away,
so that I could get back to my normal life. And, thank goodness that's
exactly what happened after surgery. I'm now enjoying life, with no
pain, and I get to run around with my little grand-babies."
Relieving pain and restoring activity is exactly what Harlingen Medical
Center's Orthopedic Center is committed to doing for its patients.
And, its commitment has been recognized by the nation's oldest and
largest independent, standards-setting and accrediting body in health
care, The Joint Commission. The Orthopedic Center at Harlingen Medical
Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™
for health care quality in knee and hip replacement surgery. The certification
award recognizes the Center's dedication to continuous compliance
with The Joint Commission's state-of-the-art standards.
"This certification means the Orthopedic Center at Harlingen Medical
Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for
its joint replacement patients," said Wendi J. Roberts, RN, Executive
Director, Certification Programs, The Joint Commission. "Certification
is a voluntary process and I commend Harlingen Medical Center for successfully
undertaking this challenge to elevate its standards of care and instill
confidence in the community it serves."
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), one of
the most common injuries the body can suffer is in the knee. The knee
is the largest and most complex joint in the body as it depends on four
primary ligaments, multiple muscles, tendons, and secondary ligaments
to function properly. When it is injured, it is the Anterior Cruciate
Ligament (ACL) that tears causing an injury. This may cause the knee to
swell potentially making it painful to walk. After an appropriate diagnosis
and treatment plan the majority of patients heal very well and return
to a normal, active life style.
The Orthopedic Center at Harlingen Medical Center underwent a rigorous
on-site review by The Joint Commission, in which a team of its experts
evaluated the Center for compliance with standards of care specific to
the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and
control, leadership and medication management. The experts determined
that the Center meets quality and safety standards, and awarded full certification
to the Center with no recommendations for improvement.
The Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification Program,
which recognized Harlingen Medical Center, 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.
The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ is awarded for
a two-year period. At the end of the first year, the recognized program
must submit evidence of compliance with standards and performance improvement
activities. To maintain certification, the cycle repeats itself with an
on-site review every two years after that.
"The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ is a demonstration
that we maintain the highest level of commitment to quality care, and
to creating a superior overall experience for our orthopedic patients
and their families," said Brenda Ivory, President and Chief Executive
Officer at Harlingen Medical Center. "Achieving this certification,
for knee and hip replacement, is a key driver for maintaining quality
and excellence, while continuously improving the care we afford our community."
"I am very grateful to my (orthopedic surgeon) who got me back to
being me. I am grateful to the kind staff at Harlingen Medical Center
who made my stay there a very nice experience," said Buttery. "I
will always be grateful to the folks at Harlingen Medical Center."
"This is a testament to the commitment to excellence of every clinical
staff member we have working in The Orthopedic Center; our orthopedic
surgeons and their advanced surgical treatments," said Amy Flores,
Director of The Orthopedic Center at Harlingen Medical Center. "Each
and every one of them is meeting and exceeding national standards of care
for joint replacement. We continue to demonstrate that we are improving
patients' quality of life by relieving pain and restoring activity."
"The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ represents
the culmination of hard work by all of our dedicated and enthusiastic
staff," said Deborah Meeks, Chief Nursing Officer at Harlingen Medical
Center. "It is their commitment to excellence in the service of our
patients, continuous assessment and improvement, and evidence based practices,
which has made The Orthopedic Center at Harlingen Medical Center the choice
for the people of South Texas."
About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the
safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision
of health care accreditation and related services that support performance
improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates
and accredits nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in
the United States, including more than 8,000 hospitals and home care organizations,
and more than 6,800 other health care organizations that provide long
term care, assisted living, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory
care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated
delivery networks, and other managed care entities. In addition, the Joint
Commission provides certification of disease-specific care programs, primary
stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit
organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest
standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.