Disease-Specific Care: Spine Surgery Program Development

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Minimal literature exists describing the process for development of a Joint Commission comprehensive spine surgery program within a community hospital health system. Components of a comprehensive program include structured communication across care settings, preoperative education, quality outcomes tracking, and patient follow-up. Organizations obtaining disease-specific certification must have clear knowledge of the planning, time, and overall commitment, essential to developing a successful program. Health systems benefit from disease-specific certification because of their commitment to a higher standard of service. Certification standards establish a framework for organizational structure and management and provide institutions a competitive edge in the marketplace. A framework for the development of a spine surgery program is described to help guide organizations seeking disease-specific certification. In developing a comprehensive program, it is critical to define the program’s mission and vision, identify key stakeholders, implement clinical practice guidelines, and evaluate program outcomes.

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