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IHA honors HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with 2015 Quality Excellence Achievement Award


BELOW FROM LEFT: Maryjane Wurth, president and CEO, Illinois Hospital Association, Chris Fournie, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Executive Director of Ancillary Services, Dr. Shelley Harris, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Interim Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Jay Bhatt, Illinois Hospital Association chief medical officer at the 2015 Quality Excellence Award presentation.

From Illinois Business Journal news services

BELLEVILLE – The Illinois Hospital Association recognized three hospitals and two health systems for innovative quality interventions, patient safety approaches and best practices designed to transform health care. The entities were presented with the IHA Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality’s 2015 Quality Excellence Achievement Awards on September 11 at the fifth annual awards were presented during IHA’s Leadership Summit in Lombard.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was recognized for “Eliminating Medically Unnecessary Blood Transfusions at a Community Teaching Hospital.” By building new guidelines into the hospital’s electronic health record, blood usage decreased by 30%. This new process is being implemented across the 13-hospital system.

“Supplies of blood products available are usually low because less than 5% of the adults in our community are active blood donors while the demand for blood transfusions is increasing due to the aging baby boomer population. Health care facilities, like ours, must manage inventory carefully to be prepared for emergent needs of our community,” says Chris Fournie, executive director of Ancillary Services. “Additionally, blood transfusions are inherently risky for the recipient so safest transfusion is the one that is never given. Our implemented process leads us towards reducing the number of transfusions through guidelines and education so we can always put our patients’ health and outcomes first.”

Fournie also gave recognition to her full project team, Lab Manager Deb Reeder and Blood Bank Medical Director and hospital Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dolph Haege.

“IHA’s Quality Excellence Achievement Awards recognize how Illinois hospitals and health systems are committed to improving the quality of care they deliver to the patients and communities they serve,” said IHA President and CEO Maryjane A. Wurth. “By implementing best practices and sharing information, they are driving health care transformation and helping our members move forward to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time, while reducing costs.”

Nearly 100 applications were submitted by nearly 50 hospitals in the four categories. A panel of nationally-recognized quality improvement experts evaluated submissions based on achieving progress in implementing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim – enhancing the patient experience; improving population health; and reducing health care costs—and the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.

In addition to St. Elizabeth’s recognition, sister facility HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital-Highland was also one of the award recipients for “Patient-Centered Approach to Reducing Readmissions.” The other winners were located in northern Illinois in Chicago, Elgin and Arlington Heights.

“I am extremely proud of the work the St. Elizabeth’s team did to deploy this best-practice, evidence-based process to achieve the high level, quality care for all we serve,” notes Dr. Shelley Harris, Interim Chief Executive Officer at St. Elizabeth’ Hospital. “I thank the IHA for recognizing this good work, along with the other award-winning projects, which promote better health outcomes throughout all of our communities in Illinois.”

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