St. Bernards Healthcare has been recognized by the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care for its quality endeavors. Both St. Bernards Medical Center and the St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic have been singled out for delivering quality care.
The 438-bed acute care medical center received an Innovator Award at AFMC’s 18th annual quality conference in Little Rock, and the St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic received a Quality Improvement Award.
The Innovator Award for hospitals recognizes healthcare facilities that share innovative and successful strategies with their peers and act as mentors to other facilities. St. Bernards Medical Center was recognized for developing a “best care” stroke program. Called “Code Brain,” the protocol is geared toward fast recognition of the symptoms of a stroke or TIA as soon as a patient presents to the emergency department. Immediate recognition allows expedited triage and care, with stroke patients who meet criteria receiving anti-thrombolytic therapy. And that, in turn, helps decrease the patient’s risks of permanent disabilities.
St. Bernards is working with personnel at emergency medical services and other nearby emergency departments in Northeast Arkansas to be sure first responders know the best practices to use with stroke patients.
The Senior Health Clinic received a Quality Improvement Award for use of its electronic health record system to identify opportunities and strategies for improvement on certain aspects of preventive healthcare such as mammography or adult immunizations.
The St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic has been intently focused on providing more and better preventive care to its patients. When Clinic personnel began using electronic health record software, data showed that colorectal cancer screening was being addressed with just 53 percent of patients. Over the next two years, the staff discovered a continuing drop in CRC screening rates, despite best efforts. Further review revealed that the core problem was one of documentation, so St. Bernards responded by implementing EHR training sessions during regular monthly meetings to help clinical staff capture data more meaningfully. These education sessions boosted the clinic’s rate to 90 percent by February of 201l.
This is the fifth consecutive year the St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic has been recognized for its commitment to the delivery of high quality healthcare for the seniors in Northeast Arkansas.
The awards recognize individual performance improvement in AFMC’s quality improvement projects. They spotlight several facets of quality healthcare, from creating innovative community projects to using electronic health records to identify and close gaps in the quality and amount of healthcare received by various ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
“At St. Bernards we continually strive to provide the highest quality care. We are pleased when the efforts of our staff and the physicians involved in these projects are recognized,” said Susan Greenwood, St. Bernards vice president for quality, safety and risk management.
The St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic is located at 303 East Matthews, Suite 202, and offers multidisciplinary healthcare to adults who are 55 years of age and older. The clinic staff includes three board certified geriatricians (physicians specially trained to care for older adults), an advanced nurse practitioner and a social worker. Patients may be either physician- or self-referred.
In addition, two other facilities affiliated with St. Bernards received Best Achievement Awards and Innovator Awards. CrossRidge Community Hospital in Wynne received a Best Achievement Award for improving its performance in core measures through use of electronic health records and an Innovator Award for a strategy for preventing venous thromboembolism. Lawrence Memorial Hospital received a Best Achievement Award for meeting appropriate care measure goals for patients presenting with pneumonia and an Innovator Award for successful participation in the “Stop BSI” project.
The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC) is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the clinical evaluation and improvement of healthcare. As a member of the American Health Quality Association, AFMC has established its healthcare quality improvement program as an evidence-based, data-driven structured approach to measurable clinical improvement and has received national recognition. For nearly 40 years, the AFMC has worked to improve health of Arkansans by promoting excellence in healthcare through evaluation and education.