Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Somerset Medical Center achieves national certification for Joint Replacement Surgery

August 9, 2012
SOMERVILLE, NJ, Aug. 9, 2012 – Somerset Medical Center’s Joint Surgery Institute has been awarded the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for total knee and total hip replacement surgery. It is one of 17 in New Jersey and one of only 250 nationwide to earn this Disease-Specific Care Certification from the Joint Commission, the nation’s largest health accreditation agency.

Somerset Medical Center underwent a rigorous on-site survey on July 27. A Joint Commission expert surveyor evaluated the medical center for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

"In achieving Joint Commission certification, Somerset Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients who have had total hip or total knee replacement surgery," says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend Somerset Medical Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Somerset Medical Center’s Joint Surgery Institute provides a standardized approach to care by all of the medical center’s joint surgeons, pre-operative education, an aggressive rehabilitation program which includes group therapy and a joint care coordinator, a registered nurse who facilitates all aspects of patients’ care from their initial meeting with their surgeon through discharge. The institute’s nurses and therapists are specially trained in caring for patients who have undergone total knee or hip surgery. After surgery, patients are cared for on the medical center’s state-of-the-art John and Mary Obzansky Pavilion. Reunion dinners for joint surgery patients are held quarterly to enlist patient feedback and identify areas for improvement.

Since launching in September 2010, the Joint Surgery Institute has noted significant improvements in patient outcomes, including improving patients’ mobility, speeding recoveries, reducing the need for blood transfusions and enabling more patients to safely go directly home with home therapy services. The Joint Surgery Institute also received the 2011 HealthGrades Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™, ranking in the top 10 percent nationwide.

“We are committed to providing the best possible experience for our joint surgery patients and are proud to be nationally recognized once again for our high quality care,” said Ken Bateman, president and chief executive officer of Somerset Medical Center. “Achieving Joint Commission certification is the result of the hard work and dedication of our outstanding team of surgeons, nurses, therapists and staff. We look to build on this success and set higher goals to further enhance our orthopedic services and help patients resume their active lifestyles without joint pain.”

For more information about Somerset Medical Center’s Joint Surgery Institute, visit somersetmedicalcenter.com/jointcare or call Randy Thomas, RN, joint care coordinator, at 908-704-3789. For a physician referral or to register for a free joint replacement information seminar on Sept. 13, call 800-443-4605.

About The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, 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.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission currently certifies more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, focused on the care of patients with chronic illnesses such as stroke, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and many others. The Joint Commission also provides health care staffing services certification for more than 750 staffing offices. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.