Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Some Awards Mean Something

In previous blogs I have talked about certain “awards” or recognitions in health care that don’t have much merit. They are bestowed on individuals and organizations of beliefs that are not backed by data or they are based on the opinions of people with a vested interest in the outcome. There are other awards that are based on facts and the receivers of the recognition should be proud.

This week GBMC was officially presented with the 2014 Delmarva Foundation Excellence Award for Quality Improvement and we also celebrated our performance in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Partnership for Patients Initiative.  Both of these events demonstrate that we are on the right path towards our vision and in achieving our aims of  better heath and better care, with less waste and more joy for those providing the care in our health system.

The Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care (DFMC), the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland, is an independent, not-for-profit health care quality improvement organization dedicated to monitoring and improving the quality and delivery of healthcare services in our state. To receive the Delmarva Foundation Excellence Award a hospital must meet specific performance improvement criteria on ten quality measures in two inpatient clinical areas:  medicine and surgery.  This is the second year we have received this award for outstanding performance against national standards.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients initiative, started in 2011, is a public-private partnership working to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. The Partnership for Patients and its over 3,700 participating hospitals are focused on making hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly through the achievement of two goals: enhancing patient safety and Improving Care Transitions. At GBMC in an effort to meet this goal we assembled nine teams, each with accountability for an area of patient harm.  GBMC is achieving its goal in 12 of 14 measures. That means that if we continue at our current performance level we will meet the 40% reduction goal in 12 areas. Since January of 2014, these teams have eliminated 800 incidents of patient harm!!

Also, I am glad to announce that our Primary Stroke Center has once again been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) program for our commitment to quality patient care. Hospitals receiving the GWTG Gold plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85% or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the AHA/ASA for 12 consecutive months. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75% compliance in 5 out of 8 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period. Additionally we also achieved the Target: Stroke Honor Roll designation for meeting a specific GWTG achievement level and for improving stroke care. This designation means that at least 50 percent of eligible ischemic stroke patients have received IV rt-PA (TPA or “stroke buster” medication) within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time), assessed on a quarterly basis. This is the first year we have received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll highlighting the outstanding teamwork in our ED to identify and treat Acute Ischemic Stroke patients safely and rapidly.

All of these recognitions are for measurable improvements in care. I want to thank all of our clinicians for their hard work and dedication and for designing systems to get to this level of performance and for not relying on hard work and good intentions alone. Some awards definitely do mean something and we should be proud.

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