DCMH Receives High Marks for Patient Safety

May 1, 2013
National Patient Safety Week is March 3-9, a week dedicated to educate and increase awareness of patient safety activities throughout health care. This year's theme is "Patient Safety 7/365: 7 days of recognition, 365 days of commitment to care."

"Delta County Memorial Hospital has done a consistent job of offering safe, quality medical care for the past 90 years in Delta County. We are continuing to work hard to improve our patient quality and safety at this community hospital each and every year in many ways," stated CEO Jason Cleckler.

One significant symbol of safe, quality medical care is to compare the surgical infection rates at different hospitals. At Delta County Memorial Hospital we have lowered our infection rate again this year to a record 0.18 percent. In comparison, the national surgical infection rate is estimated at 2.5% and the range nationally is from 3-5%.

Another important way that Delta County Memorial Hospital demonstrates patient safety is through the feedback received from hospital inspections performed by national inspection teams from Joint Commission, Colorado Department of Health and Environment and other accrediting agencies. Overall comments such as: "This hospital is a model for other hospitals," and statements regarding the overall cleanliness of the hospital provide positive feedback.

Any comments from hospital inspections on ways to improve are taken seriously and often times have been implemented before the inspection team leaves the hospital.

"Various inspectors and surveyors over the years have always commented on the friendly and helpful attitude of the hospital staff. This hospital's staff has a sense of pride in their hospital and commitment to their community which contributes to their dedication in providing safe quality care," commented Ramona Frazier, RN, Quality Assurance Coordinator for DCMH.

DCMH's Laboratory and Trauma IV Program have received very positive feedback from accrediting agencies making spontaneous inspections during the past year.

Delta County Memorial Hospital has implemented several patient safety programs including Hand Hygiene, Central Line Associated Infection Prevention Program, Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention Program, Ventilator Associated Events Prevention Program, Falls Prevention Program, Healthcare Worker Influenza Immunization, as well as our Surgical Care Improvement Program, according to Jeanine Finnell, RN, Manager of Infection Control of this non-profit hospital.

In late November 2012 Delta County Memorial Hospital was honored with an "A" Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national non-profit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits for the second year in a row.

The A score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety Score. The A, B, C, D, or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals is based upon preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

The Hospital Safety Score was completed under the guidance of the nation's leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families.

"Delta County Memorial Hospital is very proud of being awarded an "A" from The Leapfrog Group for two years running. The safety score demonstrates our level of commitment and service to our patients and Delta County families," stated CEO Jason Clecker.

Clinical Surgery Staff from Delta County Memorial Hospital who lowered the surgical infection rate again this year:

Front Row L to R: Jessica LaPena, RN; Teresa Wilkerson, ORT; Gwen Eslinger, ORT; Michele Archibeque, RN; Juliann Weller, RN

Back Row L to R: Jeff Johnson, MD, Surgeon, Delta Surgical Associates; Jerry Young, CRNA; Julia Rohrbaugh, RN Staci Broderick, CST Chris Marshall, CRNA Alena Pacler, ORT

RN - Registered Nurse
ORT - Operating Room Technician
CST - Certified Surgical Technician
CRNA - Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist