St. Jude Recognized For Outstanding Quality of Total Hip and Knee Replacement

January 3, 2018

St. Jude Medical Center is one of just 62 hospitals among the nation’s 5,600 hospitals to receive advanced certification from The Joint Commission for total hip and knee replacement, the highest distinction available from the country’s premier health care accrediting body.

To earn the prestigious designation, St. Jude and St. Jude Heritage Medical Group, Orthopedics, underwent a rigorous, two-day, on-site review of the quality and safety of the hospital’s joint replacement services, including pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical care and outcomes. St. Jude is one of only eight hospitals in California to meet the designation’s quality requirements.

“This advanced certification demonstrates an exemplary level of care and coordination with St. Jude Heritage Medical Group and the hospital in every aspect of joint replacement, from clinical outcomes to patient satisfaction,” said Brian Helleland, Chief Executive, St. Jude Medical Center. “It sends a clear message to the community that if you’re considering joint replacement surgery, there is no better place than St. Jude.”

Joint Commission surveyors evaluated dozens of areas, such as St. Jude’s use of national standards and evidence-based practices, the safety and success of the surgery, the demonstrated commitment to improvement and innovation, and the patient’s ability to function independently in the days after discharge. Advanced Certification assures patients that standardized process are in place to reduce the risk of error and ensure quality across-the-board, including pre-surgery education and support, anesthesia and surgical care, pain management, nursing and rehabilitation therapy, and care coordination after discharge.

“Every step of care was scrutinized, from the patient’s pre-op office visit with their orthopedic surgeon and hospital stay, as well as the entire post-op continuum,” said Kevin Khajavi, MD, St. Jude Heritage Medical Group and Medical Director, St. Jude Orthopedic service line. “We are pleased the Joint Commission recognized the truly outstanding level of care offered here and the commitment our physicians and caregivers bring to ensuring each patient’s success.”

Awarded for two years, the certification was developed by the Joint Commission in 2015 in response to the growing number of individuals undergoing total hip or knee replacement surgery and can help patients identify programs capable of providing today’s most successful and advanced care.

“With advanced surgical techniques and greatly improved pain management strategies, our patients typically return home within 18-24 hours after surgery,” explained Dr. Khajavi, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. “St. Jude patients routinely stand and walk within 2-3 hours of surgery, which studies have shown to create optimal patient outcomes. We continue to be leaders in returning mobility and function to patients of all ages.”

Elements of the program that earned praise ranged from collaboration between surgeons allowing the identification of best practices, to improvements in managing post-op pain. St. Jude’s comprehensive pre-op education is personalized to meet the needs of each patient, while an orthopedic nurse navigator—dedicated to joint replacement patients—guides patients through surgical planning and rehabilitation. Additionally, alumni groups are created to give patients a voice in improvement and process planning.

St. Jude Medical Center’s orthopedic services go beyond knee and hip procedures and include specialized experts in arthroscopic surgery, hand and wrist surgery, surgical and non-surgical sports medicine, orthopedic trauma, arm and shoulder surgery, and foot and ankle surgery.

In addition to the Joint Commission‘s Advanced Certification, St. Jude has received a number of recognitions for excellence in orthopedics, including: designated a High Performing Hospital in Hip and Knee Replacement as well as General Orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report; named a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement by Blue Cross and Blue Shield; and chosen as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics by the Women’s Choice Award.

About St. Jude Medical Center:

St. Jude Medical Center is a faith-based, non-profit 320-bed tertiary care hospital in Fullerton, California. Established 60 years ago by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, the Magnet-designated hospital has earned a reputation for clinical excellence and award-winning care, including being named one of California’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. St. Jude’s physicians and caregivers offer specialized care in neurosciences, stroke, digestive diseases, cancer, orthopedics, maternal/newborn, robotic and minimally-invasive surgery, cardiac and rehabilitation. Please visit for more information.

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