oboro health 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (2/26/14) – At a leadership team meeting Tuesday afternoon, Owensboro Health administrators and Healthgrades invited local media to a presentation of two awards to the hospital.

Allison Robb, director of client development for Healthgrades delivered plaques recognizing the hospital in the categories of “Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence” and “America’s 100 Best Hospitals

Owensboro Health ranked among the top two percent of hospitals across the nation, Robb told the staff present for the ceremony.

“This is truly a reflection of quality of care you give every day,” she said.

The awards are based on a review of Medicare data submitted by all hospitals to the federal government as part of mandatory reporting requirements.

Hospitals are graded on two criteria: the best chance of survival and the best chance to avoid surgery due to medical complications.

Healthgrades makes all information about facilities it reviews available to the public. Robb said in addition to collecting data, the agency offers to work with facilities in improving performance.

”We consult with quality teams to help them be able to identify where the decline is in quality performance,” she told SurfKY after the presentation.

This year’s results were based on data collected on hospitals between 2010 and 2012, before the hospital moved to its new location off Pleasant Valley Rd.

Owensboro Health’s Chief Nursing Officer, Vicki Stogsdill, attributed the accomplishment to the leadership’s efforts “to make quality care a top priority.” Stogsdill said the biggest part of that effort is to focus on failures when they occur to make sure they aren’t repeated.

“When we have a patient event that doesn’t go well, we take that seriously,” she said, adding that the “culture of blame” doesn’t solve problems. Instead, she explained, the focus is on “system causes” that can be corrected.

“The system that they’re (patients) in can cause a mistake to be made,” she said. “We don’t focus on trying to fix a human being.”

One example she offered of a “system cause” involved a drug company’s change in look of a cardiac drug that made it look too similar to another antibiotic. When the patient changed departments, the IV bag didn’t appear to hold the wrong medicine and so it was inadvertently administered at a different rate than it should have been. After it was learned about the similarity in appearance of the two different drugs, a new procedure was put in place to clearly label the new cardiac drug along with development of a “standardized hand-off” process when patients change departments.

Building on such efforts is what Stogsdill believes will move the hospital from the top 100 to the top 50, the highest prestigious award a hospital can receive from Healthgrades.

“It’s not really about the new hospital,” Stogsdill said when asked what role the new hospital might play in improving the facility’s score even more. “It’s new leadership and staff behaviors. All the leaders come together at 8:30 (each morning), from every department. Issues are addressed much more quickly, and it decreases the ‘culture of blame.’”

Owensboro Health is the only hospital in Kentucky to receive the distinctions from Healthgrades, administrators said yesterday.

SurfKY News
Dennis Beard

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