Dr. Morgan and "Mako"

Dr. Fred Morgan D.O. works with the new hip and knee surgery robot at Princeton Community Hospital. The Orthopedic Center recently was named as a Blue Distinction Center for quality in knee and hip replacement.

PRINCETON —Princeton Community Hospital has picked up another honor, this one with its Orthopedic Center.

Karen Bowling, PCH CEO and President, said Tuesday Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has selected PCH’s Orthopedic Center as a Blue Distinction Center for quality in knee and hip replacement.

“We are very excited today,” she said. “We put a lot of emphasis here at Princeton Community Hospital on the quality of care that we provide for the residents of not just Mercer County but really Southern West Virginia and the surrounding areas. This is a distinction that is really a very big deal.”

Bowling said the designation is something the hospital has worked for, and has two “great surgeons” on staff, Dr. Phil Branson and Dr. Fred Morgan, to help make it happen.

The hospital works to get a type of credentialing that shows “we are focused on quality, cost-effective health care for the people in our community,” she said, and people in the community look at those distinctions and know that PCH is where to go to get the best quality of care.

“This is really a great honor for us,” she said.

Branson said this is another external analysis of the hospital that recognizes the quality of care.

Those external evaluations say the hospital performs at a “high level,” he added.

Bowling said standards have to be met, from equipment to personnel to good quality outcomes, to achieve these distinctions.

“These are the things that apply to you if you have to have a hip or knee replaced, you certainly want to go to a place where you know you are going to have a good outcome,” she said. “That is the key.”

Branson said the demand for knee and hip replacement surgery continues to rise.

The national trend is to increase, he said, and the “expectation is it will continue at a rapid rate.”

Branson said the hospital is focused on what is needed in the community and that those needs be met “at a high level of quality.”

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities that show a commitment to “delivering high-quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.”

Facilities with this designation “demonstrate expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer patient complications and readmissions.”

Bowling said PCH is the “southern hub” of health care and the hospital that anyone should want to come to for any type of services, especially now that it is affiliated with WVU Medicine, with access to that vast network of resources and referrals.

“If you are going to be a leader, you’ve got to be committed to quality, and PCH is certainly committed,” she said, adding that the demand for knee and hip replacement surgery will grow and the hospital will offer that high quality of care and this distinction as well as others like a national certification show that.

— Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline. com

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