The Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center (CJRI) in Hartford, Conn. is now certified as an ISO 9001:2008, Quality Management Systems compliant organization. CJRI is the only healthcare facility in Connecticut with this certification, and one of only 80 healthcare providers nationwide. DNV-GL, which holds CMS Deeming Authority, awarded the certification.

“We already have an unmatched record of quality achievements, but we wanted to do even better. The ISO certification program gave us new measurement tools, and we are proud that our success has received this impressive recognition,” said AAHKS member, Steven Schutzer, M.D., Director of CJRI. “Every patient can be assured that we will not only meet their expectations, but also exceed them.”

To become certified as ISO 9001:2008 compliant, CJRI  underwent a three-year implementation process that included development of a formal quality management system (QMS), management review process, employee training, process documentation, establishment of process metrics and a pre-audit initial assessment. The ISO certification is a rigorous process in which a hospital improves and monitors the delivery of patient care, measures quality and places great emphasis on eliminating and preventing errors.

Dr. Schutzer would like to see other orthopaedic and arthroplasty service lines receive this designation. He said that working with ISO allowed CJRI to focus on everything that had to do with the care of patients from business processes to the way rooms are cleaned to pre-operative and post-operative care. ISO standardization is clinician-driven, so CJRI was able to conduct self-discovery on areas of focus and improve quality in all areas. With an audit every three years, ongoing, multi-tiered internal communication takes place using SharePoint work flows, telemeetings, and staff meetings. Dr. Schutzer summed up the process:

This is really about cultural transformation. ISO certification is the ultimate tool to break down institutional silos. We all live quality, and ISO was the perfect way to bridge that equation.

Dr. Schutzer will be attending the AAHKS Annual Meeting in November, and welcomes discussion with members about his experience with  ISO 9001:2008 certification  process.