HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital-Highland and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital-Breese were both honored recently by the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) for their innovative quality improvement best practices.
In recognition of their efforts, IHA’s Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality presented both hospitals with Quality Excellence Achievement Awards on Sept. 16, during IHA’s annual Leadership Summit.
“IHA’s Quality Excellence Achievement Awards recognize the outstanding work that Illinois hospitals are doing to improve patient care while reducing costs,” said A.J. Wilhelmi, IHA president and CEO. “Equally important is that these awards celebrate hospitals’ role at the forefront of transforming the healthcare system in Illinois.”
St. Joseph’s Hospital-Highland Award
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital-Highland was recognized for its commitment to patient safety and quality with a Quality Excellence Achievement Award in the Rural/Critical Access Hospital category and for its project, “Saving Lives by Immediate Identification and Treatment of Sepsis.”
“Sepsis is a serious issue which St. Joseph’s Hospital is committed to quickly identifying and treating in order to save lives,” said Elizabeth Govero, interim hospital president and CEO. “Our team is using new tools and a multidisciplinary team approach to protect and treat our patients with excellent care around sepsis.”
Sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer; and the mortality rate for patients with severe sepsis is 40-60 percent. Because the timing of sepsis treatment is so narrow at only three hours, the early identification of sepsis is key to success for keeping patients alive. St. Joseph’s Hospital successfully achieved the goal of meeting the three-hour bundle for Sepsis treatment 100 percent of the time in fiscal year 2016. Compliance with the bundle ensures efficient and effective care, keeping patients safe from Sepsis.
St. Joseph’s Hospital-Breese Award
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital-Breese was recognized in the health care system category for its quality improvement project, “Improving Hypertension Care in Rural Health Clinics through Lean Six Sigma.”
The project’s area of focus was selected locations of Clinton County Rural Health, the clinic associated with HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital. Hypertension was a major concern of those patients, with only 65 percent of adult hypertensive patients having blood pressure adequately controlled. The project goal was to increase that percentage to 82.5 percent by end of calendar year 2015.
Improvements implemented included monthly provider meetings to review data, an evidence-based hypertension care path used by all providers to standardize care for patients, distributing education materials to patients to increase their participation, and new procedures for medical assistants. The result of these efforts was successful - an increase to 82.8 percent of adult hypertensive patients having blood pressure adequately controlled.
“This is a huge honor, and I think it’s great for the community to have some confidence in knowing that although this is a rural community, we have a top-tier medical system,” said Dr. Marc McCleary of Clinton County Rural Health. “Patients can have confidence they are receiving top-level care.”
More on the awards
Fifty-four hospitals and health systems from across the state submitted 99 applications for consideration in the sixth annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Their projects focused on a diverse array of topics, including preventing infection, improving patient-centered care, transforming culture and leveraging unique partnerships to improve health of communities and reduce hospital readmissions.
A panel of nationally recognized quality improvement experts evaluated submissions based on achieving progress in implementing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim — enhancing the patient experience; improving population health; and reducing healthcare costs — and the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement — safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable.
“The Quality Excellence Achievement Awards represent an opportunity for hospitals to not only highlight their accomplishments but to share with each other the best practices and new ideas that can change the lives of residents across the state,” said Jay Bhatt, chief health officer for the IHA Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality. “IHA remains committed to facilitating collaboration and achievement across the wider Illinois healthcare community.”
Early next year, all award entries and project descriptions will be published in the 2016 Quality Excellence Achievement Awards Compendium.