to main content Committed to Quality: MidState Medical Center | The Joint Commission

When the team at Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute (COI) at MidState Medical Center set out to achieve Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery (ACSS) from The Joint Commission, they knew they were taking on a challenge. After all, they were aiming to be the first health care organization in the nation to complete the certification process. “It was rigorous,” says Andy Turczak, Vice President of COI at MidState Medical Center. “We had our i’s dotted and our t’s crossed to ensure that, when we did have The Joint Commission come here, we were going to be prepared and we were going to be successful.”

Ultimately, MidState Medical Center’s success came down to teamwork, a commitment to collaboration and an emphasis on data-driven decision-making.

Empowering Teams with the Tools They Need to Succeed

Collaboration is an essential component of success in achieving ACSS, both in preparing for certification and in working with the Joint Commission reviewer on site.

“It took a multidisciplinary team through all facets of care, in collaboration with both our neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, for us to be able to get this certification,” Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Jeff Pravda, says.

All COI spine surgeons sit on a medical advisory board that takes a multidisciplinary approach. Through that board, COI vets best practice guidelines. Dr. Pravda emphasizes that the collaborative nature of The Joint Commission’s assessment method expanded his team’s ability to integrate new tools and techniques into their patient care.

“It was about us showcasing the high quality care we provide here. And at the same time, it was about The Joint Commission giving us feedback about things they’ve seen around the nation as best practices for us to be able to include into our program,” he says.

Chief of Neurosurgery Dr. Joel Bauman encourages organizations to think of Joint Commission reviewers as partners in care. “Our reviewer was exceptional,” he says. “She was friendly, she was knowledgeable and collegial, and she was not judgmental. She was truly here to help us be a better site.”

Our clear focus on applying evidence-based standards uniformly and consistently leads to measurable outcomes, streamlined processes and greater patient safety.

Advanced Certification encompasses the widest possible continuum of care for collaboration and communication at every touchpoint.

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Orthopaedic Program Manager Dianne Vye has seen firsthand how profoundly impactful performance metrics can be for a health care team. “The performance metric that I’m most proud of is our transition to home,” she says. “We’re at 93%, and we’re very proud of that because our patients are prepared before surgery.”

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Ms. Vye notes that COI also tracks a number of other metrics, all of which help them improve patient care. For example, pre-op educational classes have an 83% enrollment rate, and COI captures patients’ reported outcomes three months after surgery at a rate of 80%.

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Ms. Vye explains that, by having these surveys, “we’re able to evaluate the patient’s quality of life after surgery.”

The Benefits are Clear

Achieving ACSS demonstrates an organization’s commitment to providing an exceptional level of care.
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A patient holding their lower back in pain speaks to a doctor, who points out locations on a model of a human spine

The COI team has found that Joint Commission certification matters to other health care providers as well as to their patients. COI highlights the certification on its website and other marketing materials.

“We’re very proud of it,” says Mr. Turczak. “If anything, it starts a conversation. We’re able to talk about it with the patients. This is something that does distinguish us amongst other institutes or other spine programs.”

COI has also found ACSS to be impactful with yet another stakeholder audience: insurers.

“Our insurers now really are looking at quality in a value based-platform to ensure that we are top-notch,” explains Mr. Turczak. “Getting this certification is just one of those pieces that we’re able to demonstrate to our surgeons, our patients and our insurers the value of high-quality care that we provide here at COI.”

The certification process brings organizations new insights and helps them to master new technologies that will allow them to continue to grow and evolve over time.
,,I’m incredibly proud of our certification. Being the first in the country to earn Joint Commission Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery is a momentous establishment for MidState and the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute. We are very pleased with our results so far, but we do not want to be complacent. We want to invest in new technology. We want to come up with a same-day spine surgery program and expand that. There are a number of things that we can do from this point forward.,,

Dr. Joel Bauman - Chief of Neurosurgery - Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute, MidState Medical Center