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MCMC Wins Award for Commitment to Patient Care Excellence

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Published on 5/25/2007
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     Mid-Columbia Medical Center's aggressive efforts to ensure every patient is getting the right care every time have been recognized by one of Oregon's leading healthcare quality organizations.
     Acumentra Health recently presented MCMC with an award recognizing its standing as the second-highest rated Oregon hospital in several patient care measurements. Formerly known as OMPRO, Acumentra is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of healthcare. The organization collaborates with practitioners, providers, public agencies, and private organizations on a wide range of healthcare improvement projects and programs.
     "There are 47 hospitals in Oregon, and we evaluate data from all of them," said Ruth Medak, M.D., F.A.C.S., associate medical director for Acumentra. "So MCMC's achievement is pretty spectacular. The hospital and staff are really an example to other hospitals throughout the state."
     "We've always made a concerted effort to ensure our patients' safety and provide a high standard of care," says MCMC vice president Dianne Storby, R.Ph. "But taking part in quality programs such as this gives us, and our patients, the opportunity to benefit from access to best practices and measure our performance compared with other hospitals. No matter how well we're doing to assure quality, we're always continuing to look for better ways of doing things."
     When it comes to providing outstanding patient care, details are everything, and MCMC's quality efforts are intended to ensure no detail is overlooked.
     "Using these best practices that have been developed, tested and reported by physicians and hospitals across the country, there are a series of steps we follow, or measures we take, when delivering care to patients who need various types of medical or surgical care," says MCMC's Quality and Compliance Coordinator, Patsy Delaney, R.N.
     For example, MCMC staff now clip the hair around a patient's surgical site rather than shave it, which reduces skin trauma and chance of infection. They deliver pre-surgical antibiotics at precisely prescribed times, which also reduces chance of infection, and they cease the delivery of post-surgical medications at a specific time to reduce the chance of developing resistance.
     Knowing heart attack patients have better outcomes when aspirin and other heart medications are delivered within 24 hours of their arrival at the hospital, MCMC staff aims to make sure this happens 100 percent of the time. The Acumentra award demonstrates their success at meeting this and many other quality goals.
     "At MCMC, everyone on the staff plays ball," Medak says. "They all have the same commitment to excellence in patient care. The entire team gets together regularly to discuss the best quality measures to take, where adjustments should be made. It truly is all about the patient at MCMC."
     Medak says MCMC's example reinforces her belief that the commitment to quality has to be organization-wide to be successful. "Every good organization has an excellent board of directors that is involved and that holds senior executives, staff and physicians accountable for results," she says. "It's clear everyone is on the same page at Mid-Columbia."