Are You Getting the Best Joint Replacement Care?

A joint replacement is often recommended to relieve chronic pain and restore function.  Although routine, the surgery is complex with outcomes relying on a number of factors. Making sure you select the best surgeon and leading edge technology are only the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to ensuring you receive the best care.

The Blue Distinction Center+ is an award for quality and cost of care. Blue Cross Blue Shield determines which healthcare providers have the potential to achieve this designation based on metrics that are routinely submitted. Organizations that demonstrate expertise and cost efficiency are then invited by Blue Cross to submit an application in a specific area of specialty care.

North Ottawa Community Health System received such an invitation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the spring of 2019. The orthopedics team decided to pursue the designation for knee and hip replacements performed at NOCHS.

This prestigious designation signifies two things. A Blue Distinction Center+ is known for both its expertise and its cost efficiency in delivering that care. This designation helps consumers evaluate healthcare facilities, and select those that provide outstanding care.

What factors does Blue Cross Blue Shield evaluate? There’s a long list, and it includes things like:

• Number of procedures. NOCHS performed almost 300 joint replacements in 2018.
• Complications and readmissions. We are well below the national average when it comes to post-surgical issues.
• Patient voice in care. Our patients are involved in care decisions, such as medications for pain management, and how/where they will have physical therapy if it’s needed.

The fact that NOCHS achieved the Blue Distinction Center+ for knee and hip replacements means that we deliver excellent care in an efficient (cost-effective) way. Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction Centers’ nationally established, objective quality measures are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. The achievement is due in large part to the excellence of the staff, and their commitment to each patient who comes for orthopedic care.

It’s a tribute to North Ottawa that this is the third department to receive one of these designations. Our Bariatric Surgery department has also earned the Blue Distinction Center designation for their quality outcomes.

What’s the impact to you? If you need a joint replacement, you can be confident that you’re receiving outstanding quality care right here in Grand Haven.

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