St. Joseph/Candler Hospitals Nominated for Best of Respiratory Care: 8 Years of Event-Free Patient-Controlled Analgesia Monitoring, Improved Patient Safety, and Reduced Healthcare Costs

Jun 27, 2013, 09:30 ET from Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

CHICAGO, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety just announced its nomination for St. Joseph/Candler Hospitals in Savannah, Georgia as the best respiratory care department for RT Magazine's "Best of Care" award.

"St. Joseph/Candler Hospitals has demonstrated more than eight years of event-free patient-controlled analgesia monitoring," says Michael Wong, executive director of PPAHS. "Moreover, its use of an advanced IV medication safety system with integrated capnography monitoring has also shown that patient safety results in a substantial return on investment. It is these types of solutions that are needed by our healthcare system looking to improve patient safety and reduced costs. It is for these reasons that PPAHS has nominated St. Joseph/Candler Hospitals for best of respiratory care."

RT Magazine is looking for nominations for best RT department by July 12, 2013. Please click here.

PPAHS submitted the following nomination and encourages others to also nominate St. Joseph/Candler Hospitals:

The respiratory therapy department at St. Joseph/Candler Hospitals in Savannah, Georgia, deserves "Best of 2013" for 8 years of event-free use of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).

St. Joseph's/Candler Hospitals in Savannah, Georgia, are two of the oldest continuously operating hospitals in the US. About 10 years ago, SJC had three opioid-related events with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with serious outcomes over a two-year period.

As was recently described in the RT Magazine article "8 years of Event-Free PCA Monitoring", these opioid-related adverse events prompted SJC to implement an advanced IV medication safety system. In that interview, Harold Oglesby, RRT, manager of respiratory care at SJC, describes how his hospital has had eight years of event-free use of PCA using "smart" PCA pumps with integrated capnography monitoring: "A lot of the information comes from the research that we've done that has been focused on PCA patients monitored with capnography and the effectiveness gained in monitoring ventilation versus oxygenation. What we found is that we have an earlier recognition of any patient deterioration using capnography versus using oximetry alone. We also have looked at several case studies of patients, and we noted that by the use of capnography, we've recognized deteriorating patients early; so it gives us the leeway to take actions before those patients get into any trouble."

Moreover, although a human life should never be measures in dollars and cents, St. Joseph's/Candler Hospitals calculated that their decision made great financial sense:

  • $4 million — estimated potential expenses averted (not including potential litigation costs)
  • $2.5 million — 5-year return on investment

Says Mr. Wong, "Saving lives and saving money -- it sounds exactly what our healthcare system is looking for!"


The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is an advocacy group devoted to improving patient health and safety. PPAHS supporters include physicians, patients, individuals, and organizations.

PPAHS recently released a concise checklist that reminds caregivers of the essential steps needed to be taken to initiate Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) with a patient and to continue to assess that patient's use of PCA. For more information and to download the PCA safety checklist, please visit

SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety