A national accrediting organization has named Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center as one of the top performing hospitals in the country in pneumonia and surgical care.
The award from The Joint Commission recognizes the hospital’s performance during 2011 in using “evidence-based clinical processes” that are shown to improve care for certain conditions. Out of more than 3,400 hospitals reporting data, TLRMC is one of 620 nationwide designated as “Top Performers on Key Quality Measures.”
An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
“This recognition is a result of a concentrated and dedication effort on behalf of our employees and members of our medical staff, said hospital CEO Stephen Meredith. “When presented with the challenge of documenting our hospital is committed to providing the highest level of patient care possible, our healthcare professionals want to prove to their community, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center is one of the top performing hospitals, not only in this state, but nationally as well. I commend our employees and our medical for their commitment to excellence and congratulate them on this achievement.”
It’s the third patient care award for TLRMC in three months. In July, the hospital was recognized for its clinical performance achievements by Alliant Management Services, and in August the hospital received an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.
Those awards are the outgrowth of a constant focus on quality improvement by the hospital’s staff, said chief nursing officer David Logsdon and quality director Michele Vincent.
Logsdon said the hospital has been steadily reviewing and stressing improvement for several years now. “It’s really nothing new for us,” he said.
Part of TLRMC’s focus on improvement deals with meeting “Core Measures.” Those are nationally standardized performance requirements, based on clinical studies that have demonstrated improved patient outcomes.
The goal of Core Measures, which are tracked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Hospital Quality Alliance, is to lower the risk of surgical complications, lower the risk of mortality and morbidity rates, and implement healthcare standards that will improve the quality of care provided to hospital patients.
Logsdon and Vincent said the hospital has a safety committee that looks at issues pertaining to safety of patients, visitors and employees, and some patient care initiatives arise from that.
Others are outgrowths of reviewing, discussing and following Core Measures and other clinical processes related to patient care.
“Healthcare is taking this turn toward preventative measures,” Vincent said, “designed to help patients get better outcomes.”
They said the hospital is constantly working to improve patient care and satisfaction. Over the years, for example, it has cut its “door-to-door” time — the time between patients’ entering and leaving after treatment — in the emergency room to a little over two hours.
Adding to patient safety and staffing efficiency is the hospital’s computerized records system, which has physicians entering medical orders into computer files rather than generating pages of handwritten notes. That’s complimented by patient identification bands that contain scanable bar codes. Those codes help reduce the chances of incorrect medications being given to patients or incorrect procedures being performed on them.
“We’re constantly working to improve patient care and satisfaction,” Logsdon said.