Novato Community Hospital Hip and Knee Replacement Program Honored for Excellence
Joint Commission Awards Highest Certification for Second Time
NOVATO, Calif. — The Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Program at Novato Community Hospital (NCH), a member of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of care, recently earned the Joint Commission’s Advanced re-certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement. This is the second time the program has achieved Advanced certification—the highest level offered by the nationally recognized accrediting body—since the program was established.
“This Advanced certification showcases our team’s commitment to excellent patient care and confirms the lengths we go to ensure the best in quality and service for patients every day,” said Shannon Thomas, Novato Community Hospital administrator.
In 2015, NCH spearheaded a community-wide effort to ensure that everyone involved in these surgeries follows a rigorous set of standards. The hospital convened anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and others to reach consensus on how best to manage post-surgery pain, get patients mobile after surgery and support patients at home. The group’s efforts paid off in 2018, when 97 percent of joint replacement patients were discharged from NCH directly to their home (instead of a skilled nursing facility), representing a 35 percent improvement over 2013.
“Our patients come from far and wide, so we had to work hard to ensure that regardless of where they come from, or go home to, they get consistent, high-quality care,” said Jennifer Lehr, director of Orthopedic Services at NCH. “We know that patients often recover faster in their own homes, as opposed to a facility, so we are very proud of this achievement.”
“We want every knee and hip replacement to be a success,” said orthopedic surgeon and program medical director Peter Callander, M.D. “We are always learning and applying what we learn in order to make that happen.”
In addition to improving the quality of care that patients receive, the group also working to make care more efficient. “We’ve developed systems to share information at all points of care, so patients don’t have to answer the same questions multiple times,” said Lehr.
This level of coordination is available even after the surgery and the patient is home thanks to NCH’s dedicated outpatient nurse case manager who helps patients through the entire rehabilitation process.
“The Joint Commission is one of the premier health care quality improvement bodies in the nation,” said Thomas. “This certification is a recognition of the work done by our entire provider community when we focused on improving pain management, quality of life, function, mobility, experience and safety for orthopedic surgery patients – and achieved amazing results. We are committed to sustaining these gains and will do so with the continued leadership of our area orthopedic surgeons.”