Monday, Aug. 29


ALMH honored as top health care provider          Send a link to a friend

Premier Award for Quality recognizes high-quality care
and operations efficiency

[AUG. 29, 2005]  Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital was the smallest hospital as one of 12 winners honored with the national Premier Award for Quality in the area of heart failure. Nearly 400 hospitals submitted data to Premier and were eligible for an award in one of five clinical areas, but only 32 facilities across the nation received honors.

This nationally recognized award honors clinical excellence in both quality of care and operational efficiency, differentiating its winners as industry leaders that deliver outstanding patient care while reducing the cost of health care by improving resource utilization.

"Better health care through better use of information and resources is what distinguishes Premier Award for Quality winners from their peers," says Stephanie Alexander, senior vice president and general manager of Premier Healthcare Informatics. "These hospitals, big and small, are leading the industry, using best practices and evidence-based decision-making to develop more efficient ways to deliver excellent patient care."

ALMH’s Premier Award for Quality was unveiled by Robert T. Clarke, CEO of Memorial Health System; Brandy Shirley, ALMH human resources; Debra Ackerman, B.S.N, R.N.; Christine Kawiecki, regional manager for Premier Informatics; and Woody Hester, president and CEO of ALMH.

Kathleen Vipond, ALMH assistant administrator and director of professional services, said: "Our employees seek better ways to improve patient care each and every day. This award is evidence of our success in developing more efficient ways of delivering excellent care to our patients."

ALMH and its two Memorial Health System affiliate hospitals -- Memorial Medical Center of Springfield and St. Vincent Memorial Hospital of Taylorville -- were the first hospitals in the nation to sign up for this groundbreaking program. Using standardized administrative, clinical and financial data submitted by hospitals on a regular basis, Premier measures clinical quality outcomes, clinical process indicators and resource utilization outcomes. These risk-adjusted indicators are then examined to identify best performers in five key clinical areas: heart bypass surgery, heart failure, heart attack, community-acquired pneumonia, and hip and knee replacements.

Memorial Medical Center was also honored with a Premier Award for Quality, in the area of hip and knee replacements. ALMH and MMC were the only Illinois hospitals recognized among the 32 hospitals across the nation to receive awards from Premier.

Vipond, along with Dr. Melissa Hardiek of Lincoln Healthcare Specialists, whose leadership of the Clinical Effectiveness Committee greatly contributed to ALMH’s success in the category of heart failure management, accepted the award May 18 on behalf of the hospital at Premier’s annual Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nev.

"We are pleased to receive this honor in recognition of months of diligence, but we are by no means going to stop our pursuit of providing better quality health care for the people and communities we serve," said Woody Hester, ALMH president and chief executive officer. "At ALMH, and throughout the health system, we continuously strive for excellence and firmly believe there is always room for improvement."

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In 2003, Premier joined with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to launch the CMS/Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration Project. The project tracks hospital performance on a set of 34 nationally standardized and widely accepted quality indicators and pays annual incentives to top performers among participating hospitals.

Only three winners were picked in each category for each hospital type from the pool of eligible Premier hospitals. The pool was made up of hospitals that submitted data to Premier between July 2003 and June 2004. In the area of heart failure, ALMH was honored along with such prestigious facilities as Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Md., and Kettering Hospital in Ohio. For a complete list of winners, visit the Web address

About ALMH

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is a community-based general hospital. ALMH strives to be the "Best Rural Hospital in America" by providing state-of-the-art facilities for the vast majority of health care needs. ALMH is a 10-year affiliate of the Memorial Health System of Springfield, whose vision is to be the leading health care system that people choose over all others. For more information on the services provided, visit or call (217) 732-2161.

About Premier Healthcare Informatics

Premier Healthcare Informatics offers performance measurement, benchmarking and reporting products, and related advisory services and methodologies to support health systems’ and hospitals’ quality improvement efforts. Among its products and services, areas of expertise include performance measurement according to standards from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, clinical and operational benchmarking, labor management programs, balanced scorecards, patient satisfaction, evidence-based research, and patient safety. Premier Healthcare Informatics is part of Premier Inc., a strategic health care alliance that provides an array of performance solutions to hospitals and other providers. For more information about Premier Healthcare Informatics, visit or call (800) 805-4608.

[Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital news release]

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