3 Keys to a Top Hospital Orthopedic Program

Becker's Hospital Review—September 22, 2011

This year Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City was ranked first in the nation in orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report. Thomas Sculco, MD, surgeon-in-chief at the hospital, says one of the reasons for its success in orthopedics is its intense focus on the specialty. "It's a very different place because when you walk in the door, you're really walking into a place where everything, from the security people to maintenance people to nurses and physicians, is focused on orthopedic surgery and rheumatology." The hospital's mission as a specialty hospital allows it to apply more resources to orthopedics than other, non-specialty hospitals. By committing to measuring outcomes, managing costs and recruiting top surgeons, however, any hospital can begin to build a strong orthopedics program.

1. Outcomes. "The success of a service line department comes about when outcomes are outstanding," Dr. Sculco says. To ensure good outcomes, hospitals need to develop metrics that will allow them to compare performance to benchmarks and track progress. Hospital for Special Surgery studies outcomes using registries — a collection of prospective patient outcomes information. The hospital's approximately 30 registries track results for various procedures, enabling hospital leaders to determine what processes are working and which ones need to be changed. Once the hospital identifies current or potential problems, it then takes steps to solve them. In addition, although HSS receives recognition for high quality, it continues measuring outcomes and improving processes, Dr. Sculco says. "Everything we do here is geared toward improving what we do. We never rest on our laurels."

Read the full article at beckershospitalreview.com.

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