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Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital Has Been Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM

Awards & Recognition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 2, 2010

Contact: Anthony Stahl
Director HR/Marketing
Howard Memorial Hospital
707-456-3101

Willits - Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital's Orthopedic Joint Center recently received the Blue Distinction® Center designation for Knee and Hip Replacement. Medical facilities that receive this designation have achieved distinguished standards of clinical care for specific areas of specialty care.

- Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital's Orthopedic Joint Center recently received the Blue Distinction® Center designation for Knee and Hip Replacement. Medical facilities that receive this designation have achieved distinguished standards of clinical care for specific areas of specialty care.

"We are honored to receive the Blue Distinction designation," commented Kevin Erich, hospital president and CEO. "This is a real tribute to our doctors and clinicians. The criteria for designation are developed in collaboration with expert physicians and healthcare organizations," explained Erich. "We voluntarily submit clinical data to establish that we meet selection criteria."

"Blue Distinction Centers set themselves apart by adhering to best practices in patient safety and surgical care and producing consistently strong outcomes with fewer complications," says Michael-Anne Browne, M.D., medical director for quality at Blue Shield of California. "Blue Shield of California is pleased to recognize the superior care that this hospital and physicians deliver."

Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for knee and hip replacement care. Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital meets evidence-based clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with a panel of expert physicians and medical organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, and is subject to periodic re-evaluation as criteria continue to evolve.

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, the following types of criteria were evaluated:

-Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient support services with full accreditation by a CMS-deemed 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 
-Shared decision making and preoperative patient education

Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient support services with full accreditation by a CMS-deemed 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

Shared decision making and preoperative patient education

More information on selection criteria is available on www.bcbs.com.

Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery and transplants. The program is part of The Blues® efforts to collaborate with physicians and medical facilities to improve the overall quality and safety of specialty care.
 

Background on Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high quality care at a reasonable price. Founded in 1939, it now has 3.4 million members, 4,800 employees, one of the largest provider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed $100 million over the past three years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care in California. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield web site at www.blueshieldca.com. 

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations™ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.