Straight Talk

January 22, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

There are lots of superstars at NCH. But this month, an interdisciplinary team of hundreds led by about 20 colleagues in the NCH Joint Replacement Program are glowing just a bit brighter by earning The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.

This prestigious honor is earned by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards for health care quality and safety in disease specific care. Only about 250 of the nation’s 5,000+ hospitals have earned this Gold Seal of Approval for total hip and total knee replacement surgery. Certification is the best signal to our community that the care we provide makes for exceptional outcomes for the patients we serve.

Our interdisciplinary team underwent a rigorous on-site Joint Commission review this past October. The process began five years ago, under the leadership of RN Sue Graziano-Program Coordinator, Director Orthopedic Unit and Brookdale Rehabilitation Hospital. Members of the team include Gina Teegarden-Medical/Surgical Services Director; Michele Thoman-CNO; Teresa Golden-Director Quality & Performance; Erin Raney-Nurse Manager Downtown Ortho Unit; Heather Dill-Nurse Manager Ortho Unit North Naples; Diana Trupiano-Educator; Bill Diamond-Director Downtown Surgical Services; Karen Judd-Director Rehab; Patty Haines-Staff Nurse; Georgine Kruedelbach-Director of Infection Prevention; Kim Thorp-Director Pharmacy; Dexter Patton-Director Case Management; Dr. Mort Bertram-Orthopedic Surgeon; Dr. Kurt Biggs-Orthopedic Surgeon; Susan McClain-Clinical Outcomes; John Rogers-Assistant Director of Surgical Services; Ilona Schmidt-Interim Director of Surgical Services; and Michael Miller-Nurse Manager Perioperative Services. All of these leaders have contributed to the outcomes of the over 2,000 patients per year who have successful total joint replacement surgery each year at NCH.

Each campus has 32 newly-renovated, state-of-art rooms, with North Naples featuring our Cerner partner’s Smart Rooms. Patients and families are encouraged to participate in a comprehensive pre-operative joint replacement educational program to guide them through the process, allay anxiety and manage expectations. Our care teams proactively provide post-operative pain management using multimodal pain medication.

Aggressive mobilization and individualized rehabilitation start the day of surgery, with most patients walking within hours of finishing surgery. Individualized discharge planning, starting at admission, utilizes many community resources to provide continuity of care.

For over a decade, NCH has been among the highest volume systems for total joint replacements in the nation. Our volume continues to grow with one in eight patients coming for surgery from outside our five-county region, typically from the upper Midwest and Northeast.

Using evidenced-based guidelines, our length of stay and incidence of post op complications are below national average; patient satisfaction with pain management is high; and overall patient satisfaction related to the surgical experience and post-operative recovery are outstanding.

Our NCH Joint Program interdisciplinary team contributes greatly to helping everyone with a mobility problem live a longer, happier, and healthier life. They are all superstars, and we are proud of their accomplishments.


Allen Weiss, M.D. Signature

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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