Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holyoke Medical Center Recognized for Outstanding Record in Patient Safety



Holyoke Medical Center has long been recognized for its stellar patient safety initiatives, including 24/7 intensivist coverage in the Intensive Care Unit, computerized physician order entry and electronic medical records and its work on lowering hospital readmission rate for high-risk patients with chronic diseases including Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and a new initiative focusing on patients with Diabetes.

For its excellent record in patient safety, HMC was awarded an "A" in the Fall 2014 Hospital Safety Score by the Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog group.

The Hospital Safety Score, compiled under the guidance of the nation's leading experts on patient safety, rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

"This award shows the work and dedication that our employees are doing to make our new patient standard a reality. I'm very proud of our staff and their commitment to patient safety," said HMC Vice President Clark A. Fenn, who oversees Quality Improvement, Risk Management, Compliance and Human Resources. "That said, this is nothing we can take our eye off of. We need to continue to work hard to maintain our "A" standard, and to improve upon it."

Fenn mentioned the consistency of having intensivist coverage in HMC's ICU Department; utilizing a highly functioning electronic medical records system; and continuing to meet and surpass healthcare research and quality safety goals on a regular basis as some of the ways in which HMC achieved the "A" score.

"Patient safety needs to be a 24-7 priority for hospitals, as errors and infections are all too common and often deadly," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. "We commend the "A" hospitals, including Holyoke Medical Center, for helping us to raise the standards of health care nationwide, and demonstrating that they've made the well-being of patients a top priority."

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog's Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single "A," "B," "C," "D," or "F" score representing a hospital's overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in fall 2014, with about 31-percent receiving an "A" grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, with a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades available online.

To see how HMC's score compares locally and nationally, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and their loved ones, visit the newly updated Hospital Safety Score website at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org. Consumers can also go to www.hospitalsafetyscore.org for a free download of the Hospital Safety Score mobile app.

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