Friday, April 26, 2019

Orthopaedic Care that You Would Want for Your Loved Ones

GBMC recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.

We are only the third hospital in Maryland to earn this distinction. The advanced certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality of their care.

We underwent a rigorous onsite review in late January 2019, when Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements, including orthopaedic consultation, and pre-operative, intraoperative, and post-surgical orthopaedic surgeon follow-up care.

Valid for 24 months, this advanced certification is evidence of the high standards of GBMC and our commitment to continually improve. Led by Leroy Schmidt, MD, our fabulous team of orthopaedists, advanced practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, primary care providers, and other clinicians has generated outstanding outcomes with an excellent care experience.

In the past, joint replacement surgery meant a possible hospital stay of 1 to 2 weeks with significant post-operative pain, a significant risk of infection, and a lengthy recovery. Advances in joint replacement surgery have substantially reduced post-operative pain and complication rates, enabling us to discharge most patients after an overnight stay. I am happy to report that the risk of infection has been significantly reduced. In the past six months (September 2018-February 2019), we had 117 hip surgeries with 0 infections and 222 knee surgeries with 0 infections.

Our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program (ERAS) allows for outpatient joint replacement surgery in selected cases. And, now we’ve started the Episode of Care Improvement Program (ECIP) to further improve the care experience and reduce waste. This innovative approach allows us to better prepare the patient for surgery and to eliminate the need for inpatient rehabilitation. Members of the care team educate joint replacement candidates about medical conditions that can negatively affect the outcome of their surgery and how to better manage these pre-existing conditions. In addition, the patient's functional mobility and support system is assessed to assure that they can receive their physical therapy in their dwelling rather than in a skilled nursing facility.

In addition to Dr. Schmidt, I want to thank all the members of our Joint & Spine Program for helping us attain this major achievement, especially April Asuncion Higgins, RN, BSN, CMSRN, Joint & Spine Program Coordinator, and Joy Reynolds, RN, Nurse Manager U58, and Joint & Spine Program.

It’s Medical Laboratory Professionals Week!
This week is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. Medical laboratory professionals play a vital role in the diagnosis of disease and are key members of our healthcare team. These colleagues work out of the limelight and don’t often get the credit they deserve. I am so proud of our lab team, which has always demonstrated excellence. We are truly blessed to have an outstanding team of pathologists, technicians, phlebotomists, and staff.

Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard!
Please complete the employee engagement survey! This is a tool to make GBMC an even better system in which to work. The April 29 deadline is quickly approaching.

The survey is administered by Press Ganey, which compiles the data for us. So far, 63% of our colleagues have responded. The survey is anonymous and confidential. If you choose to include additional comments, these will be shared with your manager, but your name will not be given.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Angela Wilson, at

Remember, we need your opinion! And thank you to those of you who have already taken the survey!

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