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Quality and Safety

Information Technology Significantly Upgraded
The implementation of Cerner software, Sarah Bush Lincoln’s new electronic medical record (EMR), is the largest investment in technology and safety ever made by Sarah Bush Lincoln. Scheduled to go live in April 2017, Cerner software will replace the current EMR system and provide numerous safety and patient care enhancements, including real-time information at the bedside to support our initiatives to provide quality care to every patient, every time. The EMR will provide pertinent patient care information notifications to staff and will consolidate patient records between the hospital and doctors’ offices.

Lawson software is used for Payroll, Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, and Materials Management, while Strata is used for budget planning, productivity and decision support. While both software systems were implemented in January, functional improvements continue to be made to each. 

Staff Trained to “Team Up for Safety”
Sarah Bush Lincoln has adopted a culture of safety to improve patient outcomes and to keep employees well. It includes intensive and on-going safety and reliability training for all employees. The training provides employees with a number of tools to use to improve safety and to create a highly reliable healthcare organization. 

Employees are empowered – and encouraged – to both ask questions and to stop procedures if they believe something is “off.” They use a pneumonic system to clearly state words and numbers to reduce errors, and they have processes in place to double-check the work of colleagues to ensure patient safety. To date, 99.05 percent of employees have been trained to use these tools. Health Center leaders gather each morning to discuss safety and to share relevant information, such as there being two patients with the same name on a unit, so staff are more aware when delivering care. High-tech tools and intentional communication help ensure the safety of patients and staff. 

Critical Care Unit Honored
In February 2015, Sarah Bush Lincoln partnered with Advanced ICU to improve the medical outcomes of critically ill patients. The results of that partnership have been astonishingly strong!

Advanced ICU is a telemedicine company through which highly skilled intensivists (medical doctors who have completed fellowships in critical care medicine) monitor patients in SBL’s Critical Care Unit via television-like monitors. The intensivists anticipate problems before they occur and address surprises quickly for better outcomes. In-house doctors and nurses carry out orders delivered from remote locations.

Since the partnership began, we have cared for approximately 100 additional critically ill patients, all of whom had higher severities of illness than patients previously cared for in the SBL Critical Care Unit. Notwithstanding, readmission rates decreased (and are significantly better than other Advanced ICU hospitals). Plus, fewer people were transferred to larger hospitals for advanced care, and the length-of-stay of our patients has been consistently better than predicted. Family members appreciate having this level of care close to home, and staff members celebrate statistics that prove the partnership’s value. 

Advanced ICU recognized SBL as a top performer by honoring us with the 2016 I See You Care Award for outstanding collaboration between bedside care providers and Advanced ICU’s remote critical care teams. Sarah Bush Lincoln was one of only eight award recipients across more than 65 hospitals. 

A patient admitted to the CCU in March requested to specifically speak with Dr. Kalb, an Advanced ICU physician, right before going home, to thank him for taking such good care of him. He said Dr. Kalb took the time to listen to him and to fix his low blood pressure. He wanted to let Dr. Kalb know he was feeling much better now.

The Leapfrog Group Grants Sarah Bush Lincoln Highest Rating
Sarah Bush Lincoln received an “A” rating from The Leapfrog Group in its annual survey to measure the quality and safety of U.S. hospitals. Why does this matter? 33,440 lives could be saved annually if all hospitals performed at the A level.  

CAUTI Rate Falls to Zero
Sarah Bush Lincoln’s rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) has been at zero for many months. We never want patients to develop infections from catheter use, and we recognize that preventing infections in patients who are critically ill is vitally important. Thus, a SBL performance improvement team worked tirelessly for three years, developing protocols and monitoring all inpatients to achieve a “zero” infection rate.