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New Directions

Issue: Spring

Suburban Hospital Joint Replacement Center: Successful Outcomes Are Par for the Course

Our Team Is With You Every Step of the Way! First in Montgomery County and D.C. to Earn the Gold Seal of Approval!

Rae Evans (pictured on the cover) is an avid golfer who has also spent years on tennis courts and on horseback. Fearless in her athletic endeavors, the former chair of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Board of Directors and founder and president of Evans Capitol Group, met her match five years ago when she first experienced debilitating pain in her knees.

“I had nothing but fear to guide me when, after failed attempts at pain medications and steroids, I was told that surgery was my only option,” she says. “For someone who faced surgery with enormous fright and trepidation, I can now say that my knee replacement operations were amazing experiences.”

Gold Seal of Approval

Evans isn’t the only one who has had a positive joint replacement experience.

For the past five years, the Suburban Hospital Joint Replacement Center has become one of the busiest joint replacement programs in Maryland, performing more than 900 surgeries in 2011. This past December, The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that sets standards for quality care and accredits health facilities, awarded Suburban Hospital’s Joint Center its Gold Seal of Approval. It is the only program in Montgomery County and the District of Columbia to receive this distinction.

“Accreditation by The Joint Commission shows a willingness to be measured against the highest standards of performance,” says William J. Sadlack, M.D., chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Suburban Hospital and Rae Evan’s surgeon. “The accreditation is the stamp that assures patients they are receiving the highest quality of care when they come to Suburban Hospital for joint replacement surgery.”

Unique Model of Care Is Key to Success

The program uses a unique model of care that emphasizes wellness and personal empowerment. Patients are required to participate in pre-operative classes that introduce them to the hospital and their care team. The registration and discharge planning processes are reviewed and all questions are answered so that concerns are alleviated and patients feel more confident.

Another distinctive element of the program is its compartmentalization from other activities in the hospital. “We have a singular focus on our unit,” says J. Patrick Caufield, M.D., medical director of the Joint Center. “All of our patients are temporary residents of our ‘joint community,’ which means they live and mend together.”

The Joint Center keeps patients moving, starting with getting them up as soon as possible after surgery. “Patients in rehab together motivate each other and become united in their desire to succeed,” says Dr. Caulfield, who also believes the success of the Center has much to do with the positive experience of the patients who pass the word along. 

The Team

The Joint Center team consists of anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, patient care technicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists — all skilled in the specific needs of joint replacement surgery patients.

“There was never a point when the staff allowed my fear to take over,” says Evans. “They instructed me, pushed me and inspired me. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the job they do.”

Evans said that she not only felt cared for, but also cared about. “Dr. Sadlack and my  team were with me every step of the way.” And Evans is back playing golf. “Look at me. I have two new knees — and my only handicap is in my golf game!”

To Learnmore | Visit our Web site at www.suburbanhospital.org/jointcare



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