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Achieving the impossible

Early last year, the Baptist Collierville team, which included Cara Beard, a med-surg nurse manager; Melinda Wolfe, a coordinator/performance improvement nurse; Rhonda Davis, a nursing staff development specialist; and Sean O’Connell, a physical therapist II, set a lofty goal. They wanted to earn Joint Commission accreditation for advanced hip and knee replacement.

The Joint Commission surveyor recommended they improve on the early mobility of patients after knee and hip replacement surgery. Best practice says that patients should get up four hours after surgery, something difficult for hospitals to accomplish. But that didn’t deter the Baptist Collierville team.

They wanted what was best for their patients, and getting them up in four hours improves patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. To achieve that standard, the nursing, physical therapy and staff development teams began meeting to determine what needed to be done.

Because physical therapists might not be available to walk patients four hours after surgery, nurses stepped up to perform this important task. The hospital provided equipment to help. Other team members joined the effort, too, updating order sets and changing prescription protocols. The whole team broke down silos and worked together.

Within three months, 93% of hip and knee replacement patients were up within four hours, and the team has met that standard every month since. Pretty quickly, Baptist Collierville earned that coveted Joint Commission accreditation. It is one of only 40 hospitals in the country to do so.

I am so proud of Cara, Melinda, Rhonda and Sean’s work, and I am especially grateful for the entire Baptist Collierville team’s commitment to its patients. I also admire their dedication to one another, asking “What can I do?,” instead of saying “That’s not my job.”

The Tennessee Hospital Association asked the Baptist Collierville team to present their results during one of its regional meetings. The team will also share their story with other Baptist team members in meetings and by incorporating their findings into Baptist Collierville’s KATA projects. Sharing what they learned will help enhance care throughout our region.

Are you proud of a team member’s clinical accomplishments? Tell me by email, tweeting me @jason_m_little or finding me on LinkedIn.

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