ROME, GA – The Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA) presented its prestigious Quality and Patient Safety Award to Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome for its project that improved cardiac care. The project, titled “Changing Clinical Processes to Engage Patients and Families and Improve Patient Safety in a Cardiac Procedures Unit,” won first place in the Hospitals with 100 to 299 Beds Category. Redmond was also presented with a Circle of Excellence Award, an honor given to hospitals and health systems that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to quality and patient safety as evidenced by not only winning a patient safety award in 2013, but by earning three or more PHA Patient Safety Awards within the previous five years. These annual awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.
The goal of the project was to improve overall cardiac care and patient safety by increasing the amount of patients who attended pre-operative assessments. A pre-op assessment is an important part of the cardiac care process because it provides a chance for patients to ask questions and resolve any uncertainties before the procedure. Additionally, it allows nurses to examine the patient and review their health history. An analysis of data revealed that only 65 percent of patients were attending pre-operative visits at the hospital. A perceived reason for the lack of attendance was the inconvenience of having to come to the hospital on a separate day than when the cardiac procedure was scheduled. Additionally, assessments took place in the outpatient surgery department rather than the cardiac procedure unit (CPU), where the patients would be cared for on the day of the procedure.
To better accommodate patients, a new policy was implemented. Patients for whom cardiologists deemed cardiac procedures necessary were sent directly to the CPU for pre-operative assessment. This solved the issue of patients having to schedule a separate visit for the assessment. Also, with the location of the assessment being moved from the outpatient services department to the CPU, patients could familiarize themselves with the environment and be more comfortable on the day the procedure took place. Results showed that patients who attended pre-operative assessments increased to 96 percent.
“We continually work to improve quality, service and patient safety,” said John Quinlivan, Redmond Chief Executive Officer. “I’m so proud of our cardiology staff members who not only took the initiative to identify an opportunity to improve patient care, but also followed through to find the solution and make it happen.”
“Evaluating the care process and determining how it can be improved to better serve patients is an important step in enhancing the quality of care,” said Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) President Earl V. Rogers. “We applaud Redmond Regional Medical Center for its work with cardiac patients and its continued commitment to improving patient safety.”