KIRKLAND, Wash., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EvergreenHealth was today announced as a recipient of Qualis Health's 2013 Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality. The award is in recognition of EvergreenHealth's program to reduce the occurrence of delirium among older hospitalized patients.
Since 2002, Qualis Health Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality have recognized outstanding organizations in Washington State who demonstrate leadership and innovation in improving healthcare practices, reflecting the very best in healthcare quality improvement.
Winners were selected by a panel of expert stakeholders. The awards were presented at the 11th annual Northwest Patient Safety Conference, which took place Tuesday (May 21, 2013).
About the Delirium Project
Delirium is a common, serious and potentially preventable cause of disease and death among older hospitalized patients. It is characterized by a sudden onset of confused thinking and decline in attention. According to recent studies, delirium complicates hospital stays for at least 20% of the 12.5 million patients over 65 years of age and increases hospital costs by $2,500 per patient.
The EvergreenHealth project targeted patients over 65 years of age who were admitted for hip fracture, hip replacement or knee replacement. These cases represented the majority of delirium cases in EvergreenHealth's orthopedic surgery population.
The goal was to reduce delirium in the group by 15% (from a rate of 5.8% to 4.9%). The result was an astounding 83% reduction, to a rate of just 0.94%. During implementation of this project in 2012, only four patients in the target population were diagnosed with delirium.
EvergreenHealth's success in achieving a higher quality of care, safety and experience for these patients is attributed to:
Revising procedures to identify and address any factors that might raise a patient's risk of developing delirium. This included changes in medications and diet, close monitoring for respiratory and bladder infections, and encouraging early mobility following surgery.
Using specially trained volunteers to work one-on-one with patients to lessen other potential risk areas. These volunteers would make sure patients had glasses and hearing aids to ensure proper sensory input; make sure that patients received fluids and high protein snacks to help them stay hydrated and nourished; and see that curtains in the patient rooms were open to provide natural light during the day and closed to provide a calm, quite environment at night to help patients maintain the day/night cycle.
Implementing a Delirium Assessment Tool for nursing to promptly identify those patients with delirium, facilitating prompt treatment.
"This innovative initiative is just another example of EvergreenHealth staff and physicians working together to provide our patients with the highest level of quality care, and the safest outcomes," said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. "We congratulate everyone who participated in the project for this well-deserved recognition."
EvergreenHealth, a public hospital district and community-based healthcare organization established in 1972, offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 950 physicians provide clinical excellence within more than 80 specialties, including cardiac, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, a neuroscience institute, women's and children's services, hospice care, pulmonary care, a sleep disorders center and home care services. EvergreenHealth serves more than 400,000 residents in its primary service area of northern King and southern Snohomish counties with EvergreenHealth Primary Care, a network of primary and urgent care practices, and its main hospital campus in Kirkland, Wash. EvergreenHealth also provides emergency care at two sites; its main hospital campus and the EvergreenHealth Redmond Medical Center. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline, a 24/7 nurse consultation service. For more information, visit www.evergreenhealth.com.
About Qualis Health
Qualis Health is a national leader in improving care delivery and patient outcomes, working with clients throughout the public and private sector to advance the quality, efficiency and value of healthcare for millions of Americans every day. In Washington State, Qualis Health serves as the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, leads the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and provides care management services to the Washington State Health Care Authority, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and private insurers such as Taft Hartley union trusts and self-insured employers. For more information, visit www.QualisHealth.org.
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