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Qualis Health Presents Award of Excellence to Seven Idaho Healthcare Providers

April 2, 2009

Boise, ID - Qualis Health presented its annual Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality today, recognizing seven outstanding healthcare providers in Idaho. The organizations received the awards during a luncheon ceremony on April 2 at the Idaho Annual Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference, which is being held April 2 and 3 in Boise.

Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Qualis Health, and Sharon Wilson, RN, BSN, PMP, Director, Idaho Medicare Operations, made the formal presentation of this year’s awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to healthcare through innovative, measurable improvements in care in 2008.

"We are pleased to recognize these exceptional organizations that are committed to improving the healthcare delivery, quality and outcomes for the residents of Idaho," said Dr. Sugarman. "True quality improvement is a team effort, and these honorees exemplify that commitment."

Idaho healthcare providers submitted nominations for the awards in January. The nominations were evaluated by a group of seven judges, including representatives of healthcare professional groups and associations. Each nomination was independently scored on a 100-point scale. Award honorees were given the opportunity to demonstrate their quality improvement efforts as poster displays or as an educational presentation for their peers during the conference.

The Idaho Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality were given for the following healthcare improvement projects completed in 2008:

St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, Idaho

St. Luke’s reduced the rate of Drug Barcode Overrides by improving the quality and accuracy of the data generated by the standard reports available in their medication administration system, while improving the quality and functionality of the reports provided to clinical supervisory staff.

St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, Ketchum, Idaho

St. Luke’s developed a Rapid Response Record and Rapid Response Flow Chart and Algorithm to identify and respond to potential critical changes in patients’ condition events that may lead to a Code Blue, thus keeping patients safe and reducing the number of inpatient Code Blue events.

St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital/NICU, Boise, Idaho

St. Luke’s reduced Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) in preterm infants by implementing an early detection process to identify high-risk infants and developing a pre-printed order form that contains specific VAP prevention modalities and a VAP precautions form to be posted at the head of each infant bed.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho

Saint Alphonsus improved the health and outcomes of patients admitted to critical care units by creating a multidisciplinary critical care team including a critical care medical director and comprised of respiratory therapy, infection prevention, critical care managers, pharmacy and Six Sigma Process Improvement methods. They also implemented the use of Chlorhexidine mouth wash for ventilator and tracheostomy patients, which included the development of physician order sets.

Portneuf Medical Center, Pocatello, Idaho

Portneuf demonstrated improvement of the Medicare Core Measures performance data by using Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to discover and determine process problems. They instituted an active concurrent review process directed from the quality department to assure concurrent review completion and held mandatory Core Measures education sessions for all of their clinicians.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho

Saint Alphonsus reduced patient mortality rates by utilizing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) 5 Million Lives Campaign while implementing a Medical Response Team (MRT). They conducted chart reviews utilizing the 2X2 Mortality Matrix, created a MRT record, initiated a corresponding poster campaign and conducted nurse/responder satisfaction surveys and focus groups.

St. Luke’s Magic Valley, Twin Falls, Idaho

St. Luke’s reduced Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) surgical site infections by implementing the use of Chlorhexidine preoperative showers and developing patient education on the showering process and how patients themselves can reduce the risk of infection.




About Qualis Health

Qualis Health is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for individuals and populations across the nation. Founded in 1974, the nonprofit healthcare quality improvement organization (QIO) is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has regional offices in Idaho, Alaska, California, South Carolina and Nebraska. For additional information about Qualis Health, visit www.qualishealth.org.

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