Herrin Hospital’s Own the Bone® Program Recognized As a Star Performer

July 27th, 2017

The American Orthopedic Association (AOA) has recognized Herrin Hospital’s Own the Bone® program as a Star Performer. Own the Bone® is a national post-fracture quality improvement initiative providing institutions with tools to ensure that patients receive the treatment required to help prevent future fractures.

For Herrin Hospital to earn this status, it had to educate and refer at least 10 patients who were at least 75 percent compliant on half of the AOA’s 10 recommended measures. Even though the facility didn’t initiate the program until February of 2016, the success was readily apparent as 34 patients were screened that year.

The program, originated in the facility’s Orthopedic Bone & Joint Center, now serves as a partner in the well-being of southern Illinois residents, says Stephanie Banks MSN, RN, ONC, Southern Illinois Healthcare’s Orthopedic Program Coordinator.

“The program certainly helps prevent fragility, or secondary fractures,” Banks says. “Those fractures occur as a result of normal activity, such falling and breaking a bone (hip/wrist) from a standing position or of less height. Osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones) is also associated with such injuries.”

Healthcare professionals stress that it is never too early – or too late – to take care of your bones. The program’s prevention measures are designed to reduce the incidence of future fractures and positively impact osteoporosis treatment.

Statistics show that patients over the age of 50 with osteoporosis-related fractures are twice as likely to sustain another injury. Own the Bone® is designed to reduce those odds, as education and preventative treatments can help reduce that risk.

The following steps can help you improve your bone health:

  • Talk to your doctor. Go over risk factors with your physician and ask about a bone density test. Also, talk with your physician about medications that may help prevent bone loss and reduce your chances of breaking a bone.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products and foods and drinks with added calcium. Good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver and milk with vitamin D. Some people may need to take nutritional supplements.
  • Get plenty of physical activity. Like muscles, bones become stronger with exercise. The best exercises for healthy bones are strength building and weight bearing, such as walking, climbing stairs, lifting weights, and dancing. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise each day.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke, and if you choose to drink alcohol, don’t drink too much.
  • Prevent falls. Falling down can cause a bone to break, especially in someone with osteoporosis. But most falls can be prevented. Check your home for dangers like loose rugs and poor lighting, and have your vision checked. You can increase your balance and strength by walking and taking classes such as Tai Chi, yoga, or dancing.

Banks, who says Herrin Hospital is in line for similar Star Performer status next year, says helping others through this type of program is yet another example of important services offered by SIH.

“I am proud to work for an institution that believes in preventive care and treatment for our community,” she notes. “It’s quite satisfying that we are also nationally recognized for improving the quality care we give to our patients.”

To learn more about Own the Bone visit www.sih.net/ownthebone