The Regional Health Center in Lexington has recently been nationally recognized for its work on reducing patient harm and readmissions.
Chief nursing officer Dana Steiner says the hospital has reduced overall patient harm by 60 percent from Jan. 2012 to August 2013.
Because of this achievement, the hospital was one of only 11 hospitals in the nation asked to present at a rural health leadership conference for the American Hospital Association.
"Over the past two years, we have decreased readmissions by 40 percent and prevented over 47 return trips," explained Steiner, adding that the hospital has also seen a large reduction in patient falls.
Steiner touts the administration's commitment and several initiatives as the reason for the hospital's success in bringing these numbers down. Steiner said many multi-disciplinary teams are focused on reducing harm and patient involvement and employee evaluations are tied to safety goals and hospital performance.
"We have a strong team culture," Steiner said. "We encourage every employee, no matter what their title, to speak up for safety. If they see something that could cause harm or hurt a patient's progress, we want them to voice their concern."
Another big initiative the hospital has implemented is the position of a patient care coordinator who focuses on working with patients on their discharge instructions and medications, helping as they transition home.
"It is important for our patients to understand the information they need to take care of themselves at home after they leave the hospital," explained Beth Atwood, the hospital's patient care coordinator. "This includes things like their medications and why they are taking them. Understanding this information can help keep them from having to come back to the hospital and help them to be successful with their health at home."
The hospital will be hosting a reception in the lobby on Feb. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate this recognition and other honors received in the past year.