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Harlingen Medical Center Orthopedic Center Earns Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval

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Harlingen Medical Center Orthopedic Center Earns Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval

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."

Joint Commission seal

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.