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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A national hospital organization awards UK HealthCare for cutting patient mortality rate

Paula Holbrook, center, receives the Gage Award from America's Essential Hospitals in San Antonio in June. (Photo from UK)

Paula Holbrook, center, receives the Gage Award from America’s Essential Hospitals in San Antonio in June. (Photo from UK)

 
By Kristi Lopez
Special to KyForward
 
UK HealthCare has been recognized by America’s Essential Hospitals for a patient safety initiative that has resulted in a significant decrease in mortality at the hospital compared with the general population.
 
America’s Essential Hospitals, a national organization representing hospitals committed to high-quality care for all people, including the vulnerable, awarded UK HealthCare a 2014 Gage Award honorable mention for improving quality. The association made the award at its annual conference in San Antonio.
 
“UK HealthCare’s patient safety initiative stands out among the innovative approaches our hospitals take to avoid harm and improve the quality of care,” said America’s Essential Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Bruce Siegel.
 
The Gage Awards, named after association founder Larry Gage, honor and share successful and creative programs that improve patient care and meet community needs. The Gage Award for improving quality recognizes activities that improve the quality of care delivered, or reduce or eliminate harmful events to individual patients or groups of patients.
 
“UK HealthCare is continuously working to improve, driven by our high standards and our commitment to serve the people of the Commonwealth and beyond and the Gage Award represents national recognition of this work,” said UK HealthCare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bernard Boulanger. “It is recognition of our team’s relentless, rigorous approach to improving patient care, in a manner that directly benefits our patients”
 
UK HealthCare received the award for the development of an internal process called SWARMing to help the hospital improve overall patient safety. A SWARM is initiated shortly after the occurrence of an adverse incident or undesirable event, and the people directly involved are empowered to “stop the line” when they observe a problem.
 
Since instituting SWARMs in 2009, the hospital has experienced an overall reduction in the observed to expected mortality ratio from 1.5 to 0.7, as reported in December 2013.
 
“The SWARM process has been a remarkable and successful team effort throughout the UK HealthCare enterprise and everyone should be commended for their role in what has become one of our best tools in improving patient safety,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.
 
Kristi Lopez is the deputy director of the News Bureau at the University of Kentucky.

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