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Alton Memorial earns ‘A’ grade for patient safety

ALTON – Alton Memorial Hospital received an “A” grade in the recently released Leapfrog Group’s 2016 Hospital Safety Score update.

The group assigned letter grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals, assessing medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The April 2016 update highlights newly-added patient experience measures shown in the research to have a relationship to improved patient safety outcomes.

These include results of patient surveys about: communication about medicines, communication about discharge, nurse communication, doctor communication, and responsiveness of hospital staff.

“It is time for every hospital in America to put patient safety at the top of their priority list, because tens of thousands of lives are stake,” said Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.

One example of Alton Memorial’s patient safety effort is the CAUTI (Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections) Team. .

“In 2013, we showed a house-wide CAUTI rate of 3.2 percent, which represented seven infections at Alton Memorial,” said Debbie Turpin, AMH vice president of Patient Care Services. “The benchmark was not to exceed 1 percent. The team was identified in 2014 and the hospital joined the national ‘On the CUSP: Stop CAUTI – Cohort 7’ CUSP program.”

CUSP is Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to Eliminate Health Care-associated Infections. By the end of 2014, in conjunction with the Education Advisory Committee, education was provided to all the nursing staff on proper catheter insertion techniques and maintenance.

“The outcome, to date, is that there have been no catheter-associated urinary tract infections at Alton Memorial since October 2014,” Turpin said. “This is a major accomplishment and everyone should be proud of their efforts.”

AMH also recently held an armed intruder drill to brief employees on what to do in the case of an active shooter in the building. Brad Goacher, AMH vice president of Operations, said administrators will review the procedures and results of the drill with all of the shifts.
“This is the first time we’ve done one of these,” Goacher said. “Like fire drills, which we do regularly, this will become more consistent.”

The Leapfrog Group, one of the nation’s leading hospital ratings organizations, awards hospitals based on safety, quality of care and value metrics. The Leapfrog Group scores an “A” to hospitals that achieve the best hospital safety performance score, using a set of 28 national measures.

The group provides consumers ranked statistics and informative data for selecting a medical center. The premise of the group is to provide accessibility to the public while allowing medical facilities the opportunity to measure improvements.

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