From Greg Tocks, D.O., Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster, and Surgeon Chair, LG Health Geriatric Fracture Program
Lancaster General Health has successfully earned its biennial Premier Level re-certification from the International Geriatric Fracture Society. LG Health joins 19 U.S. and two international organizations that have earned premier certification, the highest possible level for geriatric hip fracture care programs.
The prevalence and cost associated with geriatric fracture care for our aging population is a leading health-care challenge. The Lancaster area has a growing number of geriatric patients, and with age comes an increased risk of falling and sustaining a hip or fragility-related fracture.
LG Health manages more than 400 hip fractures per year. This relatively large group of patients with similar needs has created a unique opportunity to standardize and streamline care management.
In 2009, Gerald Rothacker Jr., M.D., envisioned and created LG Health’s Geriatric Fracture Program in an effort to improve the quality of care for these patients and maximize efficiency by reducing cost and length of stay. Under his leadership, and with the assistance of a large team of representatives from many diverse departments, the care of hip-fracture patients at LG Health has dramatically improved.
A continued focus, and one highlighted by the IGFS as best practice, is the collaboration between the inpatient hip fracture program and the nine-member Preferred Provider Network of Skilled Nursing Facilities. In addition, LG Health has generated a Fracture Liaison Service, which focuses on osteoporosis education for patients with fragility fractures. Ultimately, the goal of this service is to initiate inpatient treatment to patients with fragility hip fractures and continue outpatient management to prevent further fractures.
The IGFS, formed in 2012, is the worldwide leader in assessing and improving management of geriatric fragility fractures. The IGFS certification program is a global quality improvement initiative designed to recognize the achievements of organizations that exceed outcome benchmarks in management of geriatric fractures. LGH has exceeded all of these target outcome benchmarks, which include improving lengths of stay, readmission rates, time to surgery, osteoporosis education and mortality.
LG Health’s collaboration with the IGFS, other top-performing hospitals and fragility fracture experts will help us continue to improve quality of care for our local patients and the fragility fracture population around the world. In the words of program founder Dr. Rothacker, the IGFS certification is truly a “feather in the cap” for LG Health and the Geriatric Fracture Program.