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Hospital cites efforts to improve services

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Memorial Hospital in Martinsville has taken steps over the last 12 to 18 months to make the community healthier, CEO Skip Philips recently stated.

“The team at Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County (MHMHC) is committed to improving the overall health outcomes and health status of our community,” Philips said in an email. “Physicians, staff and volunteers, along with a wide range of community-based health care providers and resources are working to improve the overall health of our community. Our intent is to be a care partner with patients so they can have control of their health.”

He said some of the steps the hospital has taken to make the community healthier are:

• Partnered with primary care providers, clinics and urgent care centers to better coordinate care, information and access to health care resources in our community.

• Added case management nursing in the emergency department to help connect individuals with primary care physicians and other community resources.

• Expanded case management nursing for inpatients in partnership with the medical staff to better coordinate services outside the hospital, including home health, medication access, physician appointments, financial access and other resources.

• Added home-based telemedicine support for individuals who are at higher risk for readmission or complications after discharge that allows the physician and nurse team to monitor weight, blood pressure, oxygen levels and blood glucose remotely.

• Expanded the hospitalist program from two to nine physicians and two nurse practitioners to help provide in hospital care and coordinate the transition back to community physicians after hospitalization.

• Created an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, therapists and other members of the clinical team to identify opportunities for patients to improve their care both in the hospital and back at home.

• Improved clinical documentation and coding of the care that is provided at the hospital to accurately reflect the services that are provided to patients while in the hospital. This provides a better understanding of community health issues.

• Memorial Hospital, along with 56 other hospitals that are part of LifePoint hospitals, is participating in the Hospital Engagement Network along with Duke Hospitals to improve care and patient safety in community hospitals.

In a recent phone interview, Philips, Kofi Cash, the hospital’s director of quality and performance improvement, and Michael Pittman, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, cited many of those improvements and said the hospital has placed more emphasis on making sure patients get the services they need in a timely manner.

Philips said in that interview that the hospital continues to work to implement the best practices as well as focus on consistency and responsiveness, and he expects the hospital will continue to see improvements in the performance data measured.

Philips stated in the email: “At Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry, we value the Hospital Compare website, as it is an important informational tool for consumers and supports our belief that transparency in health care is essential.

“The information reported on the Hospital Compare web site is important to all hospitals; not only because it affects consumer choice, but also because it helps us identify opportunities for improvement,” he said.

The recently released information includes 30-day mortality and readmission rates for July 2008 through June 2011. The information regarding readmissions, mortality and complications is currently a 36-month rolling time period. The next annual update for this specific data set will occur in July 2013, Philips noted.

“Our goal at Memorial Hospital is to provide the right care to every patient, every time. We are committed to sharing information that will help patients make informed decisions about their health-care choices,” he added.

 

 
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