Local Memorial Health System employees unveiled a Silver Award for
Progress Towards Excellence during ALMH ceremonies on Monday. From
left are Susan Shull, Family Medical Center administrator; Carol
Gangster-Fisher, Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence
program manager; Sharon Baker, ALMH Employee of the Year Rene Barr,
ALMH Nurse of the Year; and Gene Frioli, with Logan-Mason
Based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Criteria, the
not-for-profit foundation's Lincoln Awards are the end-result of a
thorough analytical process that encourages organizations to achieve
their fullest potential. Memorial Health System submitted its
application for a Lincoln Award last spring. That was followed by a
three-day site visit in September, when a highly trained team of
examiners reviewed processes, questioned methods and interacted with
staff at all levels of our organization.
On Monday, Abraham Lincoln Memorial staff, physicians and
volunteers celebrated our achievement during brief ceremonies at the
hospital. They were joined by representatives of other Memorial
Health System affiliates serving Lincoln and Logan County, including
Family Medical Center, Memorial Home Services' Lincoln Medical
Equipment, Logan-Mason Mental Health and Logan-Mason Rehabilitation
Center. This award is a tribute to the staff, physicians and
volunteers of our hospital and those of Memorial Health System's
other affiliates for their exceptional work toward quality, safety
and clinical effectiveness.
The award itself, however, was not the focus of our attention.
Most important is what the award means to our community -- the
people who place their trust in us to provide the best possible care
for illness and injury.
We would not have earned this award without an unfailing
commitment toward improving patient safety, clinical effectiveness
and quality of care. Recognizing that health care is a science and
not an art, we focus on quality improvements that can be measured to
ensure that we achieve our goal of better clinical outcomes and
improved quality of patient experiences.
One of the significant steps that help us achieve this level of
recognition is the health system's annual quality and safety audit.
These annual audits allow us to assess, identify and improve the
care and service we provide to our patients and communities. By
taking an honest and critical look at ourselves, we uncover
opportunities to improve the care we provide and to acknowledge and
celebrate our strengths.
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Memorial Health System recently completed its eighth annual
quality and safety audit. A 21-member audit team interviewed more
than 550 employees, including 73 at Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Hospital, and studied numerous patient medical records. This team
works with staff to assess how well we adhere to national patient
safety goals, including safe use of medication, reducing the risk of
infection and reducing the risk of harm from patient falls.
These audits as well as the Lincoln Foundation site visits help
measure the strength of the ongoing commitment to patient-centered
care that our employees deliver each and every day.
Our selection to receive a Lincoln Silver Award provides the
residents of Lincoln and the Logan County area with assurance that
our process for improving patient safety, clinical effectiveness and
quality of care is strong. To be sure, we have more work to do. One
of the invaluable benefits from a Lincoln Foundation site visit is
the feedback report that provides a clear direction on how to
improve patient care.
Going forward, we will deepen our commitment to our patients,
providing the people of Lincoln and Logan County with leadership in
health care. We will work hard to improve patient safety, clinical
effectiveness and quality of care as well as support evidence-based
medicine. For example, that means providing timely antibiotics
before surgery to help reduce postoperative infections and making
sure that high-risk patients receive flu or pneumonia vaccinations
before discharge to help prevent respiratory-related readmissions.
As we do, even greater achievements in patient care will be
realized. And all will be better served as we fulfill our mission of
helping to maintain, restore and improve the health of the people
and communities we serve.
[By DOLAN DALPOAS, president and chief executive officer, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital]
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