EMMC Receives Distinction for Joint Care


(Bangor, Maine) – Patients who walk the same day of joint surgery recover faster, go home sooner, and have fewer complications. Eastern Maine Medical Center patients walk within 12 hours of a joint replacement procedure 95 percent of the time, an achievement that was highlighted during an on-site review by The Joint Commission, an independent organization that recently re-certified EMMC’s Joint Center of Excellence.
“Nursing staff does not wait for the initial physical therapy evaluation before they get the patient out of bed after surgery, which The Joint Commission considers to be best practice,” explains Angela Wheelden, RN, BSN, ONC, nurse coordinator, EMMC Joint Care. “Our nurses closely monitor each patient’s progress and coordinate efforts with numerous interdisciplinary staff to contribute to each patient’s success after joint surgery.”
Areas of distinction mentioned by The Joint Commission surveyor included Surgical Navigation, with preoperative testing and tightly streamlined processes to ensure all patients are ready for surgery; preventive measures that result in low rates of infection, such as refraining from using Foley catheters; and a nationally-renowned blood management program that has virtually eliminated the need for blood transfusions during surgery. These measures contribute to the program’s recertification, a distinction achieved by only four orthopedic surgical programs in Maine.
“Voluntarily inviting independent organizations like the Joint Commission to assess our orthopedic program helps EMMC fulfill national clinical guidelines for total hip and knee replacement,” says Stephen Walsh, MD, medical director, EMMC Joint Care. “We owe it to our patients to stay on the leading edge of new processes that are proven nationally, so they receive the best care in the safest environment. This leads to better outcomes once they leave the hospital.”
About Disease Specific Certification
The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses 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 certification, established in 2002, is awarded for a two-year period.