Congratulations to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Upstate University Hospital for their outstanding achievements in delivering high-quality patient care! St. Joseph’s and Upstate were among eight regional hospitals recently awarded quality improvement payments by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
With patient-centered initiatives and innovative solutions, these hospitals continue to demonstrate a commitment to clinical excellence and optimal health outcomes. Excellus has recognized these organizations specifically for their improvements in clinical processes of care, patient safety (reducing hospital-acquired infections, falls, and readmissions), and patient satisfaction scores. We are thrilled to partner with these organizations to help in their missions of providing the highest quality care.
A recent study published by the American Journal of Infection Control compared differed post-discharge follow up methodologies to identify infections following cesarean sections. The study showcases the power of patient outreach and how big of an impact a post-discharge call can make.
The study found that in addition to follow-up calls being well received by patients, for every 100 C-section procedures, there were nearly 2.6% missed cases of infection. Follow-up calls had a positive impact on both patient satisfaction and experiences, as well as on patient outcomes.
While this study found that follow up helps detect infections and prevent adverse events among patients after cesarean sections, we have found similar results with other DRG’s. For more information on how Voice, our post-discharge follow-up solution, can identify and prevent adverse events, contact us today.
Unlike many issues in healthcare, where opinions are diverse and countless “what ifs” must be considered, the necessity of handwashing is an undisputed topic. Across the board, healthcare providers recognize the importance of washing their hands before coming into contact with patients. While recognizing the need is an important first step, compliance is much more difficult.
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) lists handwashing as the most effective and least expensive way to prevent infection in a healthcare setting. Whether or not a healthcare provider washes his or her hands before caring for a patient can be a life or death difference, especially when treating young, elderly, or high-risk patients with compromised immune systems. While this practice requires little effort on behalf of the provider, it has a large impact on the safety and sanitation of patient care.
A recent report from the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) states that it is unacceptable for any hospital to have handwashing rates lower than 100%, and includes proper hand hygiene as one of its “Must Do” practices. “Hospitals or clinicians unable to achieve uniform adherence with ‘must do’ practices should not be in the business of delivering health care,” states Robert Wachter, MD, a board member of the NPSF.
So where does the breakdown happen? While many facilities have developed interventions to encourage hand hygiene, such as adding more sinks or alcohol dispensers, a large number still lack a system or structure to ensure that handwashing actually occurs. Further complicating the situation, many hospitals leave this decision up to the discretion of the employee. With busy, taxing workdays, it is easy to see how proper hand hygiene can slip through the cracks.
To reach 100% compliance, there must be a way to hold caregivers accountable for hand hygiene. World Health Organization encourages leaders to train observers to monitor staff using “My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene.” Additionally, hospitals may choose to implement electronic monitoring systems, such as video monitoring or real-time location systems. Other methods include having patients observe caregivers and measuring the consumption of hand hygience products.
A more recent strategy to improve compliance is the use of digital hand hygiene auditing systems. CipherHealth’s digital rounding solution, Orchid, features a specific checklist for hand hygiene audits designed to make the process a seamless part of prep. Orchid’s checklists are completely customizable, allowing each facility to design a list with the exact number and type of steps appropriate for its team. The information that is collected with audits is analyzed and generated into reports, providing visibility into compliance rates across the organization. By adding this layer of accountability, our tool helps make handwashing a given, not a decision.
Contact us today to see how our digital rounding tool can be customized to help your organization achieve 100% compliance with handwashing.
A recent study from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine found that 28% of readmissions were attributed to infection. This considerably high percentage should be an spur for new infection control strategies both inside and outside the hospital. These infections are not only limited to patients discharged to home, but also patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. Armed with this information hospitals should employ strategies that reduce infections when patients are inside and outside of the hospital.
When patients are inside the hospital it is a critical time to ensure they are educated on their post-discharge care, and given ample opportunity to ask questions about their medications and wound care during rounds or other regular check ins. Once this education piece takes place hospitals should reinforce the message through the use or teach back or recordings of discharge instructions.
After patients are either discharged to home or to another facility, the hospital should follow up with phone calls or text messages that ensure the patient is cleaning the wound properly, taking all necessary medications, and not noticing any signs of infection. By reaching out to patients proactively, care providers can address any issues before an adverse event occurs.
By reducing infections hospitals are not only improving outcomes through readmission reduction, but also reducing the overall costs associated with any care episode.