Bristol Regional Tops Region with New Certification from the Joint Commission for Knee and Hip Replacement

SEPT. 6, 2017 | BRISTOL, TENN.

Delivery of high-quality hip and knee replacement care has resulted in special recognition for Bristol Regional Medical Center achieved by no medical facilities in Virginia, only two others in Tennessee and just 50 in the nation.

The hospital recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement. This designation was a culmination of extensive effort by Bristol Regional’s Every Step Joint Replacement Center to further strengthen its wide-ranging program for patients in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

“We’re extremely proud of our physicians and staff members, who have collaborated to develop an exceptional program that touches every aspect of the care process,” said Greg Neal, Bristol Regional’s president. “A hip or knee replacement is a major procedure for our patients, and we’re grateful for their confidence in our ability to help them achieve their personal activity goals. Our medical team is well prepared to deliver superior health care with compassion, and we thank The Joint Commission for providing external validation of the caliber of our program.”

Receipt of the certification at Bristol Regional followed a thorough onsite review by representatives of The Joint Commission, who evaluated compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements. These include orthopedic consultation and care provided before, during and after surgery.

The Joint Commission said the program was designed to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of total hip and total knee replacement services in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The goal is to foster more cost-effective and safer quality care. Some key characteristics include a facility’s ability to improve outcomes and reduce patient risk through clinically proven, evidence-based care, the organization said.

The certification is good for two years.

“Achieving Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification recognizes Bristol Regional’s commitment to provide care in a safe and efficient manner for patients,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director of hospital business development for The Joint Commission. “The advanced certification will help the hospital better provide coordinated and comprehensive care to patients undergoing a total hip or total knee replacement.”

The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

During the process of securing this certification, eight nurses at Every Step became orthopedic-certified, and all staff members participated in a special training class to learn more about best practices associated with delivering care to hip and knee replacement patients. Plus, leaders in the program standardized pain protocols for patients and orders for physicians.

These represented some of the most recent enhancements to a program focused on excellence in hip and knee replacement. Bristol Regional provides a broad-based joint replacement program that emphasizes safe and quick recovery from these procedures.

“Everyone who delivers care in the Every Step Joint Replacement Center has spent considerable time implementing protocols that reinforce the quality of our program,” said Lisle Whitman, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon on the Bristol Regional medical staff, medical director of the hospital’s orthopedics service and a practicing physician at Appalachian Orthopaedic Associates.

“Our program is rooted in a commitment to deliver the highest-caliber care close to home, and we are driven to ensure Bristol Regional remains one of the elite programs in the country for joint replacement.”

One of the primary elements in the program is education so patients know exactly what they can expect when they undergo one of these procedures. Every Step also partners with patients to obtain the care they need for other conditions, such as diabetes, and to make beneficial lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, all of which will lead to an even more successful outcome.

In addition to the nurses, Bristol Regional’s program includes six expert orthopedic surgeons, a team of highly trained anesthesiologists and qualified physical therapists who work in tandem with their patients to make desired progress for increased mobility. Through everyone’s efforts, Every Step transitions virtually all of its patients directly from the hospital to their home, an initiative program leaders will continue.

The certification from The Joint Commission is the most recent success for Bristol Regional’s program. CareChex, an information service of Quantros Inc., also named the hospital No. 1 in the Tri-Cities market and among the top 10 percent in the nation for 2016 and 2017 in medical excellence. The hospital was No. 1 in Tennessee in this service for 2016.

“The seamless connectivity among all caregivers provides an optimal experience that greatly enhances our patients’ quality of life,” said Chad Couch, M.D., Bristol Regional’s chief medical officer. “Our desire is to help them return to their everyday activities with no discomfort as quickly as possible, and we are pleased with the results we have achieved so far. Although we are the region’s most acclaimed joint replacement center, we will not rest on our laurels but instead seek additional opportunities to advance our program to the next level of excellence.”