NORTHAMPTON — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS) has again recognized Cooley Dickinson’s Joint Replacement Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement for its work meeting strict criteria to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes.
“Research confirms that Blue Distinction Centers like Cooley Dickinson demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers,” said Dr. Tony Dodek, vice president of Medical Quality and Strategy and associate chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Added Dr. Mark Novotny, CDH’s chief medical officer, “achieving this designation means Cooley Dickinson’s Joint Replacement Center has met objective, best-practice criteria for knee and hip replacement. For our patients, this designation reinforces Cooley Dickinson’s commitment to a high-quality, coordinated program with outcomes that are among the best in the nation.”
Cooley Dickinson’s Joint Replacement Center was first recognized in 2010 among 21 facilities. For 2013, Blue Cross Blue Shield recognized eight facilities.
“The healthcare market is changing rapidly, and the cost of care is continuing to rise,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of BCBS. “It is now more important than ever to equip providers, consumers, and employers with helpful information to assist them in making important healthcare decisions.
“Quality remains the benchmark for our national network that serves millions of customers,” he added. “The Blue Distinction program will improve the overall patient experience and provide better value to our customers by offering the necessary tools to identify high-quality, cost-effective care.”
The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from a panel of expert physicians. To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, Cooley Dickinson Hospital met the following criteria:
An established acute-care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient-support services with full accreditation by a national accreditation organization;
Experience and training of program surgeons, including case volume;
Quality-management programs, including surgical checklists as well as tracking and evaluation of clinical outcomes and process of care;
Multi-disciplinary clinical pathways and teams to coordinate and streamline care, including transitions of care; and Shared decision making and preoperative patient education.