Quality of care discussed at Samaritan meeting

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MOSES LAKE ó Improving care at Samaritan Healthcare was the subject of a discussion at the regular meeting of the hospital district commissioners recently.

Hospitals are evaluated - and regulated - in part by how well they do on a group of specific indicators, including how many patients suffer a fall in the hospital, how many might get an infection after surgery and how many develop sores from not moving around (called pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bed sores).

The statistics are reviewed every month. In most categories the hospital is meeting or exceeding the targets set. Those the hospital and Samaritan clinic are meeting†include the length of time it takes to schedule an appointment with medical providers and keeping people from taking antibiotics they donít need. The statistics also include patient and staff satisfaction, staff turnover and finances.

But the hospital didnít meet the targets for some of the patient care categories. The statistics take into account a yearís worth of data. To improve the hospitalís chances of hitting those targets, hospital officials are making changes in programs, including nursing practices.

Shelley Gay, nursing supervisor in the hospitalís acute care unit, explained the change to board members.

Traditionally - dating back to the beginning of the nursing profession - nurses wait for patients to summon them, she said. The hospitalís new procedure sends nurses around every hour to ask how patients are doing.

Nurses ask about pain, whether or not a patient needs to go the bathroom and whether or not they need to move around, among other things. The new procedure has had an effect, Gay said; the acute care unit has gone 199 days without a patient falling, and in the medical-surgical unit the hospital has gone 68 days with no patients falling. The new procedures were instituted a few weeks later in the medical-surgical unit.

Overall the hospital has had more falls than 2015, but fewer falls where patients were hurt, she said.

In other business, chief operating officer Teresa Sullivan announced hospital officials have hired a new director for Samaritan Clinic. Kyle Kellum will start his new job Jan. 3; he comes from Colorado.

Hospital officials also hired a new diagnostic imaging manager, a new controller, a new nursing supervisor at Samaritan Clinic and a new director of nursing education. Hospital officials still are looking for a new director of quality and a new director of business development and physician recruitment.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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