Clearfield Hospital Highlights Quality, Safety Efforts

Members of Clearfield Hospital’s Quality and Patient Safety Committee review the report, Pennsylvania Hospital Quality: Achieving More Together, which provides an overview of the quality and patient safety initiatives being undertaken in hospitals across the commonwealth, including Clearfield Hospital. From left are James Davidson, D.O., patient safety officer; Monica Smith, patient safety and risk manager; and Catherine Civiello, PhD, quality director. (Provided photo)

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Hospital today highlighted its achievements in quality and patient safety as The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) recently released the second annual Pennsylvania Hospital Quality: Achieving More Together. The report provides an overview of the quality and patient safety initiatives being undertaken in hospitals across the commonwealth.

At Clearfield Hospital, Catherine Civiello, PhD, quality director, said quality and patient safety have been advanced through the implementation of several projects including:

  • Reducing blood clots. An ongoing initiative is to reduce the likelihood of blood clots developing in patients’ legs, arms or lungs through the use of medications or mechanical devices that help improve blood flow. The hospital’s quality team has been working on this project for 18 months, and was recognized by Highmark for exceptional outcomes.
  • Reducing wrong-site surgery. The surgeons and operating room staff are collaborating with Highmark’s QualityBLUE Program to reduce the likelihood of wrong-site surgery as well as surgical site infections through the use of checklists, improved communication among surgical staff and appropriate administration of pre-surgery antibiotics.
  • Preventable readmissions. In the past year, the hospital partnered with Mountain Laurel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clearfield and Ridgeview Elder Care in Curwensville to reduce the number of readmissions. Prior to this project, the hospital had experienced a higher than expected readmission rate during a three-month period in 2011. Upon investigation, the hospital’s quality team found that the majority of those patients were from nursing homes. A process improvement plan was put into effect that involved an improved method of educating patients and their caregivers about discharge instructions and follow-up care, as well as better communication between hospital and nursing home staff during a patient’s hospital stay and after the transition to nursing home. These efforts resulted in a significantly reduced readmission rate.

Additional quality initiatives under way at Clearfield Hospital include implementing processes that reduce the likelihood of patients experiencing adverse drug events, pressure ulcers and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

 “At Clearfield Hospital we review on a daily basis all incidents regarding patient safety. We have a dedicated committee comprised of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and community members that evaluate our process to prevent medical errors in the delivery of our healthcare to patients,” said James P. Davidson, D.O., patient safety officer.

The HAP report summarizes a number of notable achievements that have positioned Pennsylvania hospitals as national leaders in quality and safety, and contains examples of hospital successes in the areas of infection prevention, obstetrical adverse events, reduction of readmissions and universal vaccination.

The report also highlights the work of the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN), part of the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Partnership for Patients initiative. To date, 138 Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems have committed to participating in the network, which is aligned with national goals of achieving a 40 percent reduction in preventable harm and a 20 percent reduction in preventable readmissions by the end of 2013.

“Our improvements in quality and patient safety have been made possible by the continuous dedication and leadership of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals,” Davidson said. “As state and federal lawmakers make critical fiscal decisions, it is imperative that they not cut funding to hospitals. Without adequate reimbursement, we cannot sustain quality and patient safety advances at the same pace.”

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