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July 2, 2013 > New Center of Excellence Focuses on Joint Restoration & Research

New Center of Excellence Focuses on Joint Restoration & Research

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of three articles about Washington Hospital's Institute for Joint Restoration and Research.

Washington Hospital's new Institute for Joint Restoration and Research has been established to provide Washington Township Health Care District residents with the latest proven surgical and rehabilitation protocols for hip and knee replacement, rehabilitation, and research.

The Institute was established by Washington Hospital in June 2012 to serve as a Center of Excellence with the goal of advancing the field of knee and hip joint replacement through research, education and clinical outcome improvements. The Institute is modeled on similar Centers of Excellence at other leading U.S. hospitals.

The Institute grew out of Washington Hospital's Center for Joint Replacement, long recognized by various health organizations for outstanding work in the field of joint replacement. Under the leadership of Dr. John Dearborn and Dr. Alexander Sah, the Institute's goals are to improve patient outcomes and eliminate variations in care by maximizing efficiency, thereby reducing the cost of care delivery. Improved outcomes, better care and reduced costs are essential for any hospital, particularly a stand-alone district hospital like Washington Hospital, to survive in the current competitive and difficult health care environment.

Dr. Dearborn and Dr. Sah bring a wealth of experience and training to the Institute. Dr. Dearborn has been affiliated with the hospital since 1997. Dr. Sah came to the hospital in 2008. The two physicians perform more than 1,300 surgeries annually, more than 85 percent of all joint replacement surgeries at Washington Hospital. The Institute is housed on the Washington Hospital campus in the Center for Joint Replacement building, a 20,000 square-foot facility, licensed by the State of California, with all private patient rooms.

In this new facility, patients recover post-operatively in one place and in an environment conducive to the research that is an essential element of the joint replacement program. The facility also has a rehabilitation garden, an occupational rehabilitation kitchen and other design features that promote and facilitate patient recovery.

The Institute is open to all patients whose physicians meet the participation criteria and agree to utilize the Institute's surgical and patient care protocols. Among the requirements, a surgeon must perform 150 joint replacements annually, an average of three per week. This requirement is based on clear evidence that higher surgeon volume is associated with improved patient outcomes. Patients must meet the clinical criteria for becoming a joint-replacement candidate and agree to participate in the Institute's research protocols. The Institute is covered by most health insurance programs and accepts Medicare and Medi-Cal patients.

The Institute's reputation for outstanding results in knee and hip joint replacements has led to patients from throughout the Bay Area and beyond coming to Washington Hospital for their procedures. The Institute's patient volume is expected to continue growing as its reputation spreads, particularly through word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied patients. As a Center of Excellence, the Institute is making a major contribution to Washington Hospital's continuing goal of providing the very best care to District residents and to all others who come to the Institute for the innovative care available there.

For additional information about the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research, please call (510) 818-7200.

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