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Qualis Health Presents Annual Awards of Excellence to Six Washington State Healthcare Providers

June 16, 2008

Seattle - Qualis Health presented Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality on Thursday, June 13, recognizing six outstanding healthcare providers in Washington State. Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, president and CEO of Qualis Health, presented the awards during a luncheon ceremony at the Northwest Patient Safety Conference at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center on June 12. Qualis Health is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery and health outcomes. The Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality recognize organizations in Washington that have made significant contributions to healthcare through innovative, measurable improvements in care.

 “We are pleased to recognize those remarkable organizations in Washington that are committed to improving the healthcare delivery, quality, and outcomes for the residents of our state,” said Dr. Sugarman. “True quality improvement is a team effort, and these honorees exemplify that commitment.

Washington healthcare providers submitted nominations for the awards in March and April. The awards are given in several categories including large urban hospitals, rural hospitals, health plans, nursing homes, and home health agencies. The nominations were evaluated by a group of 11 judges, including representatives of healthcare professional groups and associations. Each nomination was independently scored on a 100-point scale.

 he Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality for projects completed in 2007 in Washington State were awarded to the following organizations:

Large Urban Hospital category:

Walla Walla General Hospital, Walla Walla

For Achieving Top Performance with Core Measures

Through real time coaching, feedback, and concurrent chart abstraction, this hospital achieved 100% compliance in selected Heart Failure, Pneumonia and Surgical Care Improvement Project measures.

and Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Spokane

For Reduction of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

The hospital implemented initiatives focusing on empowerment of staff, increased collaboration, transparency and practice changes. This effort resulted in the prevention of pneumonia while providing life-saving care to very sick infants.

Critical Access Hospital category:

Lincoln Hospital, Davenport

Northwest MedStar, Spokane

and Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane

For Cardiac Level 1 Protocol

An emergency heart attack program was developed that focused on coordinating care between the Emergency Department at Lincoln Hospital (a critical access hospital), the helicopter transport service and the Cardiac Catheterization team at the urban referral center (Sacred Heart Medical Center). This collaboration resulted in improved patient outcomes, by significantly reducing the transfer time to provide life-saving treatment for patients transferred between the two facilities.

Information Technology-Driven Healthcare Quality category:

Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML), Spokane

For Middleware Solutions

The laboratory provider automated key processes to track client inquiries, logistics information and quality assurance data. This program resulted in improved consistency and timeliness in supplying test results to providers.

Nursing Home category:

Hillcrest Manor and Rehab Center, Sunnyside

Improving Eldercare through the Reduction of Staff Turnover and Absenteeism

At this Eden Alternative facility, culture change is an integral part of service to elders. When Hillcrest made the change to a more consistent staffing model, staff turnover and absenteeism were reduced, care for elders was improved, and elders were put back in control of their own lives.

Home Health Agency category:

Providence Hospice & Home Care of Snohomish County, Everett

For the Hospice Bereavement Counseling Intern Program

In collaboration with university programs, Providence Hospice & Home Care of Snohomish County utilized trained student interns to increase bereavement outreach support. They were able to increase the level of support by more than 400%, meeting the needs of the community in a budget neutral manner, and also provided a quality learning experience for students early in their careers.

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