Health care

Taos hospital earns patient safety, quality care award

By Staci Matlock
editor@taosnews.com
Posted 10/3/18

Taos County's only hospital, struggling with financial troubles and staff turnover, still improved patient care enough to win a state award.Holy Cross Medical …

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Health care

Taos hospital earns patient safety, quality care award

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Taos County's only hospital, struggling with financial troubles and staff turnover, still improved patient care enough to win a state award.

Holy Cross Medical Center earned the Hospital Innovation Improvement Award from the New Mexico Hospital Association for two years of performance improvement as measured by patient safety and standards of care. The award was presented Sept. 26 during a ceremony at the 73rd annual meeting of the New Mexico Hospital Association in Albuquerque.

Bill Patten, CEO of Holy Cross, and Sue Romansky, assistant vice president of quality, accepted the award from Andrew Shin, chief operating officer of the American Hospital Association Center for Health Innovation and Jeff Bourgeois, chair of the NMHA quality committee. "As a small community hospital, we provide care for our friends and family," said Patten in a statement released after the ceremony. "This personal connection with our patients fuels our desire to provide high quality care in an environment of excellent service."

Holy Cross was one of 15 New Mexico hospitals recognized for excellence during the 2016-2018 phase of HIIN, which is an extensive, multi-year program that "aims to ensure better care for individuals and populations throughout the state", according to a hospital statement. The program is supported by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and administered by the state hospital association working with a division of the American Hospital Association.

The program's goals are to decrease "overall patient harm" by 20 percent and reduce re-admissions by 12 percent from 2014 baseline numbers by 2019.

Examples of Holy Cross Hospitals success in the last two years are:

• 58 percent reduction in opioid adverse drug events , which are adverse drug reactions, allergic reactions or overdoses related to medications prescribed in a hospital, according to the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

• 67 percent reduction in clostridium difficile infections. Clostricium difficile is a bacterium that can cause a range of symptoms from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

• 12 percent reduction in re-admission rates of patients who have been released.

• Maintained a zero percent rate of antibiotic-resistant Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus or MRSA cases. MRSA causes skin infections, and in some cases, it causes pneumonia (lung infection) and other issues. MRSA infections can become severe and cause sepsis if left untreated, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

• Pressure ulcer rates, also known as bed sores, among patients was maintained at zero, according to Holy Cross.

Holy Cross officials said in a statement that the hospital is committed to "best practices in education and staff training, mentorship, monitoring, data collection and analysis and governance. At Holy Cross, our medical, nursing, case management, surgery, pharmacy and infection prevention staff played a critical role in implementing and sustaining these important quality measures."

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