PULSE: VHA Georgia honors DeKalb Medical

VHA Georgia awarded DeKalb Medical two leadership awards at its leadership conference earlier this month at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

A VHA Operational Excellence award went to the emergency room staff at the North Decatur campus for initiating processes that have decreased wait time, improved patient satisfaction and generated $11.5 million in new revenue through increased efficiency. The award was the result of a initiative begun two years ago that implemented 50 process changes to improve patient flow and satisfaction. ER waits dropped to an average of 30 minutes.

Innovations in the prevention of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers earned the North Decatur hospital a Clinical Excellence Award. New protocols have helped the hospital decrease its pressure ulcer rate from 15 percent last year to less than 1 percent (.74) this year. The national average incidence rate is 7 percent.

Brainy certification: Tracey Rogers, a physical therapist at Walton Rehabilitation Health System in Augusta, has earned Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST) credentials from the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists.

Fewer than 300 health professionals hold the CBIST credential, which demonstrates advanced training and skills in brain-injury services.

Book prize: Mary Gullatte, associate chief nursing officer at Emory University Hospital-Midtown in Atlanta, was awarded the 2008 APEX Publication Award of Excellence for “Clinical Guide to Antineoplastic Therapy: A Chemotherapy Handbook.” The handbook, which she edited, gives detailed information on all aspects of chemotherapy administration.

Improved CF care: The American Board of Pediatrics recently commended the MCGHealth Cystic Fibrosis Center in Augusta for outstanding quality improvements in patient care.

“It is exciting to work with team members from so many different disciplines who are all dedicated to the goal of improving care for patients with cystic fibrosis. I have been extremely pleased by the positive changes we have made in our practice over the past four years through our quality improvement activities,” said Dr. Kathleen McKie, interim director of the center.

Most wired: The Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study, conducted annually by Hospitals and Health Networks, has named the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems for 2009. Georgia has five organizations on the list: Memorial Health Medical Center in Savannah; Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Jasper; and South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.

The survey measured the use of information technology at 1,314 hospitals for quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues.

Tops for kids: The University HealthSystem Consortium (USC) has ranked MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center No. 1 nationally in pediatric care for the past year, according to its First Quarter 2009 Quality and Safety Management Report.

“It takes a remarkable team effort centered on children and their families to be the best of the best in children’s care,” said Dr. Bernard L. Maria, chairman of pediatrics and medical director of MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center.

The USC is an alliance of 103 academic medical centers and 191 of their affiliated hospitals, representing 90 percent of the nation’s nonprofit academic medical centers.

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