South Florida Hospital News
Wednesday June 26, 2019
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April 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 10

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Coral Gables Seeks Advanced Certification for Orthopedic Center of Excellence

Dr. Gilbert Beauperthuy-Rojas wasn't satisfied with just having an Orthopedic Center of Excellence established at Coral Gables Hospital, and gaining certification in total knee and total hip replacement from the Joint Commission. No; now that that has been accomplished, he and the hospital administration are working to gain advanced certification for the Center.

The initial certification was awarded in 2017, but the process was put in motion decades before when Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas first began his practice. He explained, "The background on this was that I had been doing cases at Coral Gables Hospital for quite some time and had developed a routine with patient care. I was getting some fairly good results and satisfaction scores with my patients, so I brought this to the attention of the administration and said I think we should strive to get some recognition for it, and develop some type of Center of Excellence."
 
Administration agreed, and after looking at different opportunities, they targeted the Joint Commission. "They're well-known throughout the country and are a reputable organization, so we decided to look at the parameters they set to establish a Center of Excellence."
 
Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas said the hospital developed a team of social workers, pharmacy, physical therapy, floor nursing personnel, etc., and put together a program that would result in getting identical care for everybody. "Following the parameters and guidelines of the Joint Commission, we had to establish several criteria, and in doing that we noticed that we were already accomplishing a lot of those things; we just needed to document it, and show the results and improvement that we were getting with those results." He added that Coral Gables was the first, and may still be the only, hospital in Miami-Dade County to achieve the Joint Commission certification for the Center of Excellence for total knees and total hips.
 
He admitted it makes him feel good to know that they are doing the right thing and the results show it, but added that the program is not static. "We have not been stagnant, we've adapted and changed things as needed. We send out surveys, we have nursing and patient input, and if we see that we can do better in a department, we're willing to change. It's quite dynamic, we change things where we see we need improvement and it's worked really well."
 
It has worked so well that Coral Gables is now seeking advanced certification for its program. Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas explained that the Joint Commission has a next level that is an advanced certification. Once a hospital receives its Certification of Excellence, other criteria need to be met for the advanced – more things that need to be charted to show that the right thing is being done, and that improvements are continually being made on what has already been established.
 
"We already sent out our application because we have made those changes as we've gone along the past two years, and we're ready to prove to the Joint Commission that we have not remained still on this. We have continued to improve our program, we have continued to show things we've done that deliver better health care."
 
He gave an example of discharging the patients to home. "When we started this program, most of our patients were going to a skilled nursing facility or a rehab facility post-surgery. We have established within the program getting family members and patients more involved in their care, and giving better instruction on what needs to be done, and we feel very comfortable now discharging patients to home after the hospital. They rehab better, they recover better, their infection rates and their post-operative complication rates decrease when they go home versus going to another facility."
 
Another example is how, with some of the implementations, readmission rates have dropped dramatically post-operatively after discharge. "It's all criteria that Medicare looks at, and we're able to show we've decreased those factors. Those are the most important criteria in helping reduce costs for the patient, the hospital, the insurance company, for everybody, and still deliver good quality health care."
 
Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas emphasized that this is not a "one-person show," that many people have been involved. He specifically mentioned Chief Nursing Officer Jessica Miller, CEO Cristina Jimenez, and Chief Orthopedic Nurse Yinnette Lamas. "I give a lot of credit to those three individuals for really pushing forward the objectives of the program and championing the program to make it the success it's been."

For more information, call (844) 367-4560 or visit www.coralgableshospital.com.

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