Adventist HealthCare Wins Patient Safety Awards for COVID-19 Care, Medication Monitoring Programs
Gaithersburg, MD — Two Adventist HealthCare programs, one that tracks patients with COVID-19 symptoms and another to prevent harm from duplicate medications, were honored by the Maryland Patient Safety Center in its 2021 Minogue Awards for Patient Safety Innovation. The awards recognize the state’s top safety and quality solutions in healthcare.
“We are committed to providing the safest care to every patient, every day” said Susan Glover, RN, and Adventist HealthCare’s Senior Vice President and Chief Quality & Integrity Officer. “This recognition from the Maryland Patient Safety Center highlights the ongoing dedication of the leaders and healthcare heroes in our system to find new ways to safely care for our patients.”
The COVID-19 program, developed in response to the pandemic to track patients with symptoms of the disease, was named a Circle of Honor winner. The program provides test results to discharged patients under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19.
Caregivers created a process to assess the symptoms of PUIs, offer patients advice on how to manage symptoms, direct their follow-up care, and provide reassurance. Through rapid cycles of change, caregivers refined discharge orders, assessment templates, patient handouts, telephone systems, and integrations with physician practices. In eight months, from late March until mid-November 2020, nearly 13,000 patients were referred to COVID triage nurses in the Adventist HealthCare system.
The program helped prevent PUIs from returning to the system’s hospitals unnecessarily. With the program, Adventist HealthCare inpatient-to-Emergency Department revisit rate dropped below 1% from a peak of 2.2%. The inpatient readmission rate dropped below 1% from a peak of 3.4%.
Meanwhile, the medication project titled “Therapeutic Duplication Reduction – Preventing Patient Harm” earned the Maryland Patient Safety Center’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Adventist HealthCare formed an interdisciplinary workgroup in
June 2019 to address therapeutic duplication, which is the prescribing of more than one medication for the same reason without guidance on when to take one medication over the other. This can lead to medication overdose, errors and patient harm.
The workgroup explored solutions to reduce the occurrence of therapeutic duplication. They examined contributing factors such as overlapping pain scares, issues with prescriber order sets and other causes, and then performed a Pareto Analysis to prioritize and create solutions. The June 2019 baseline of 43% of inpatients with a therapeutic duplication in as-needed pain medication dropped to 7.4% in September 2020.
Adventist HealthCare was one of eight hospitals or health systems in Maryland to receive Circle of Honor recognition, and one of 10 to earn Distinguished Achievement.
The winners were selected by a panel of independent judges who are leaders in the state healthcare community. Care teams involved in the winning projects were recognized at the 17th Annual Maryland Patient Safety Conference, held virtually on April 29.