Raritan Bay Medical Center Joins The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Project Joints Initiative

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Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC), with locations in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy, announced today that it has joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Project JOINTS initiative, a federally-funded program designed to speed adoption of proven methods to prevent surgical site infections (SSIs) after hip and knee replacement surgery.

Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC), with locations in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy, announced today that it has joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Project JOINTS initiative, a federally-funded program designed to speed adoption of proven methods to prevent surgical site infections (SSIs) after hip and knee replacement surgery. Project JOINTS stands for; “Joining Organizations IN Tackling SSI.”

    “Patients are not getting the best care reliably enough,” said Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). “It can take years from the publication of evidence-based advancements to when patients can reap the benefits. Patients deserve better. Organizations taking part in Project JOINTS are dedicated to accelerating the spread of practices shown to protect patients from potentially devastating infections.”

“Project JOINTS’ goals are aligned with our own surgical services’ and specifically our Human Motion Institute’s goals,” said Michael R. D’Agnes, president and CEO, Raritan Bay Medical Center. “While we have always had robust infection prevention protocols in place, our Human Motion Institute has enhanced our efforts in the area of orthopedic surgery by returning our patients to normal function as quickly and safely as possible. Integral to our heightened preventive efforts is our orthopedic nurse navigator who provides pre-surgical patient education, among other patient-focused responsibilities.” The Human Motion Institute at RBMC is an integrated team of orthopedic specialists consisting of surgeons, physicians, nurses, physical therapists and allied health professionals providing complete and comprehensive musculoskeletal healthcare, including in the areas of joint replacement, sports medicine and fracture care. For more information, call 1-855-5-MOTION.

Project JOINTS focuses on hip and knee replacement surgery because infections following these procedures can be catastrophic for the patient and those caring for them. Treatment can mean multiple surgeries, months of medical and physical therapy, prolonged periods of recuperation, and often considerable pain and sizeable out-of-pocket expenses. For some, permanent disability and long-term financial problems are the results.

With over 1.1 million procedures done in 2008 (the most recent numbers available), knee and hip replacements are two of the most commonly performed surgeries in the US. Depending upon patient risk, it is estimated that between 6,000 and 20,000 SSIs occur annually after these types of surgeries and the number is predicted to rise substantially in coming years due to an aging population staying more active.

Health care facilities that choose to participate in Project JOINTS commit to implementing five evidence-based practices designed to prevent SSIs in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery. Three of the five are based on newer evidence:

  •     Patient bathing or showering with a special antibacterial soap for at least three days before surgery
  •     Screening patients for the presence of Staph prior to surgery and treating those testing positive
  •     Preparing skin at the surgical site with an antiseptic solution that contains alcohol

Two of the five practices are based on more well-known SSI prevention practices:

  •     Reliably giving the appropriate antibiotics to the patient before starting surgery
  •     Avoiding shaving hair at the surgical site

IHI has activated its network of state-based organizations and hospitals developed during its 100,000 Lives and 5 Million Lives Campaigns to promote Project JOINTS’ recommendations. (The campaigns were voluntary nationwide initiatives to improve hospital care and reduce patient harm.) To support Project JOINTS participants, IHI provides free tools and resources and encourages the health care providers taking part to learn from one another.

Project JOINTS first launched in April of 2011. Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, New York, and Tennessee were the first states eligible for Project JOINTS participation. Health care providers in California, Maryland/DC, Mississippi, Oregon, and Wisconsin were invited to enroll in the second stage of the initiative in 2012. Project JOINTS was launched nationally in December of 2012.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more than 25 years, we have partnered with an ever-growing community of visionaries, leaders, and front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. Together, we build the will for change, seek out innovative models of care, and spread proven best practices. When it comes to raising the quality of health for all, IHI sees boundless possibilities and while we see the walls in front of us, we will not rest until we reach the other side.

About Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC)    
    A New Jersey state-designated primary stroke center, RBMC is a recipient of the American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines® - Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award, recognizing the medical center’s success in implementing a high standard of stroke care and the American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines® – Heart Failure Gold Performance Achievement Award, recognizing the optimal care of heart failure patients.

RBMC, with locations in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy, is also one of less than seven percent of hospitals nationally to achieve re-designation as a Magnet Hospital, recognizing nursing excellence, and is a three time recipient of the New Jersey Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield patient care quality award. Most recently the medical center scored in New Jersey’s top 10 percent in care for pneumonia and heart failure, and in Middlesex County; scored number one in surgical care and among the best in care for heart attack according to the 2011 New Jersey Hospital Performance Report.

The hospital’s Human Motion Institute is devoted to providing superior outcomes and patient satisfaction in all areas of musculoskeletal treatment, and its Institute for Weight Loss at Old Bridge provides customized medical and surgical weight loss options and support services. RBMC has several other specialty services including the Center for Wound Healing, Center for Sleep Medicine, Center for Women, Center for Balance and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy programs.

For more information about services, visit http://www.rbmc.org. For a physician referral call 1-800-DOCTORS.

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