HMH Total Hip, Knee Replacement Program Earns Joint Commission's Highest Certification 

May 25, 2017

Nationally recognized program is first in state to receive distinction

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – HMH's Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program earned the Joint Commission’s Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification, the highest distinction from the nationally recognized accrediting body. The HMH program is the first Kentucky program to receive the distinction.

“We know we have a world class Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program,” said Dennis Johnson, HMH President and CEO. “This advanced certification showcases our team’s commitment to patient care excellence and confirms the lengths they go to for patients everyday.” 

The Joint Commission is considered the nation’s premier healthcare accrediting body. It accredits and certifies 21,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.

Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program Director Sandy Peace said the Joint Commission undertook a comprehensive review of HMH’s elective total knee and total hip replacements. She said the evaluators looked at communication amongst the team and with patients, the use of evidence based practices, as well as the education HMH provides to patients and their families.

“From the patient’s office visit with their orthopedic surgeon to preadmission education, to surgery and inpatient post operative care, and then to outpatient physical and occupational therapy, the Joint Commission scrutinized every aspect of the HMH program,” said Johnson.

Peace noted that if a patient elects to have surgery, more than 60 people support them on the continuum of care. According to Peace, that can even include social workers who are called in to help a patient who may not have an adequate support system when they are discharged from the hospital.  

“It’s remarkable how many members of the HMH team play a role,” said Peace. “We know that if everyone involved in knee or hip surgery works together effectively, positive patient outcomes and low readmission rates result.”

To ensure this seamless patient care, the total hip and total knee replacement team meets monthly to review data on HMH’s total hip and total knee replacements.

“Collaboration is critical,” said Peace. “We share the latest evidence-based best practices, evaluate patient outcomes and constantly look for opportunities to improve.”

HMH Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Jeff Been, M.D. said the team’s patient-centered approach is also critical to success.

“Before we recommend surgery, we want to know our patients’ goals,” said Been. “We want each person to make an informed decision about the care plan best suited for them.”

Been praised, in particular, the post operative nursing and therapy staff who make sure patients are up and moving within 120 minutes of surgery. “Our clinic staff and the HMH nurses, and the physical and occupational therapists make this program the best of the best,” said Been. “They are the front line of the total hip and total knee replacement team.” 

Been, fellow orthopedic surgeon Marcis Craig, M.D. and their clinic staff at HMH Medical Group E-town Orthopedics moved to their new location in the Ring Road Medical Plaza this week. A third orthopedic surgeon will join the practice later this year. Last year alone, Craig and Been performed 452 knee and hip replacements.

The practice is co-located with HMH’s Therapy and Sports Medicine Center, which includes a state of the art therapy pool and other tools to provide the most advanced physical and occupational therapy services available for total hip and total knee patients.

HMH’s Director of Rehabilitation Services Dan Martin welcomed the added convenience for E-town Orthopedics patients. He said quality, consistent therapy is critical to getting people back to doing what they love.

“We want every knee and hip replacement to be a success,” said Martin. “What some people do not realize is that quality rehab is critically important to a successful joint replacement”.

HMH orthopedic surgeon Michael Krueger, M.D., who leads HMH Medical Group Hardin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine practice, echoed Martin’s sentiments on the importance of outpatient therapy.“Post operative outpatient therapy is vital to the positive patient outcomes,” said Krueger.

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Certification follows the HMH program being named one of top 36 programs in the country by Becker’s Hospital Review late last year. This accolade put HMH alongside programs including those at Mayo Clinic and Emory University Hospital.

“We are in good company,” said Johnson. “These are some of the most prestigious US hospitals and our Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program ranks at the top among them.” 

Becker’s based the ranking on 30-day readmission rates, a standard healthcare quality measurement that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses. The national average rate of readmission after these surgeries is 4.6. HMH’s rate is 3.2.

Peace said the new advanced certification from The Joint Commission will be reviewed annually.