The Orthopedic Care Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center has earned Blue Distinction from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association for demonstrating expertise and a commitment to quality during the care and treatment of patients undergoing total knee and/or total hip replacement surgery.
“We have been working toward Blue Distinction for four years and are so proud to finally receive this recognition,” Malissa Warrick, nurse manager of the SOMC Orthopedic Care Unit, said. “We are always looking for ways to improve our patient-care processes, and are glad our efforts are helping the patients we serve.”
Dr. Duane Marchyn, an orthopedic surgeon at SOMC, explained that many new protocols and practices were put in place to help the OCU earn Blue Distinction. This included the development of an orthopedic patient educator position, the development of an orthopedic leadership team, and a constant department-wide focus on improving patient outcomes.
“In less than 10 months, we have seen a decrease in post-operative surgical site infections, as well as a decrease in length of stay for patients undergoing either a total knee or total hip replacement,” Dr. Marchyn said.
“The length of stay for a patient receiving a total knee replacement at SOMC has dropped from 3.3 days to three days, while the length of stay for a patient receiving a total hip replacement has lowered from 4.1 days to 2.9 days. These results are amazing and show that we are providing our patients the best care possible—and making sure they get home as quickly and as safely as they can.”
Blue Distinction Specialty Care is a national designation program that recognizes healthcare facilities for demonstrating expertise in delivering safe, effective, and cost-efficient care. The goal of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program is to help consumers find both quality and value for their specialty care needs, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide.
“Blue Distinction seeks to establish a consistent and continually evolving approach to evaluating quality and safety, which are also major priorities for our whole organization,” Warrick added. “It takes a team to achieve such distinction, and I thank every one for their dedication.”