July 9, 2007

VHA Award Recognizes Excellence for AMI and Surgical Care

VHA Inc., a national health care alliance, has recognized Faith Regional Health Services for providing excellent care to surgical patients. The 2007 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence honors organizations that have distinguished themselves by meeting or exceeding national performance standards in specific clinical activities, including surgical care.

VHA serves more than 2,400 health care organizations nationwide, including 1,400 hospitals.  Faith Regional Health Services received the award for preventing surgical complications and infections. Nearly 300 hospitals nationwide received Leadership Awards this year from VHA for achievements in operational and clinical excellence, as well as supply chain management improvement and community benefit efforts.

"We are one of only 87 hospitals to receive a VHA Leadership Award for surgical care, and the award validates the dedicated focus of our clinical staff and physicians to pursuing excellence in the care provided to our surgical patients," said Lisa Walters, Chief Nursing Officer at Faith Regional. "Preventing complications following surgery is a key objective of our surgical team.  To ensure the proper outcome, our staff focuses on national indicators of quality."  Faith Regional's work team is represented by anesthesia, surgeons, operating room staff, nursing, diabetic educator, pharmacy and quality improvement.

These steps toward quality include:

  • Administering antibiotic within one hour prior to surgical incision.
  • Selecting appropriate antibiotic for surgery patients.
  • Discontinuing antibiotic administration within 24 hours after surgery (within 48 hours for cardiovascular procedures).
  • Glucose control before, during and after surgery
  • Preventing respiratory complications and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).

Scoring is based on a hospital's commitment to improvement, internal and/or external collaboration, documented results and innovative approaches.

"At the heart of the covenant between patients and hospitals lies the belief that clinical excellence is paramount," said Trent Haywood, M.D., J.D., chief medical offer at VHA.  "Faith Regional is a shining example of what can be achieved when a hospital's actions are guided by the pursuit of clinical excellence."

Faith Regional also received the Strive for Excellence Award in Acute Myocardial Infarction. These steps toward quality include giving the recommended medications at arrival and discharge, time it takes until heart intervention upon arrival to the hospital and providing smoking cessation advice.

"Our participation in VHA helps us achieve a higher level of performance, so we were pleased to receive this recognition," said Walters.

To receive the Leadership Award, the hospital had to achieve at least 90 percent compliance with all rate-based indicators for the following procedure groups:  coronary artery bypass grafting, cardiac surgery, hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty, colon surgery, hysterectomy and vascular surgery.