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2005 Spirit of Excellence

Magazine
Above the rest | Honoring 2005 Spirit of Excellence Award winners
By David Burda | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Modern Healthcare congratulates the winners and honorable mentions of the 13th annual Spirit of Excellence Awards, co-sponsored by Sodexho Health Care Services, based in Avon, Conn. This year's competition drew 104 entries, down from last year's record of 157 entries.Modern Healthcare and Sodexho announced this year's award competition on July 25, and the deadline for entry submission was Oct. 15. All of the submitted entries can be found online at www.sodexho-bps.com under the "Best Practices Showcase" section.This year's winners and runners-up are profiled on the...
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Magazine
Music offers relief | Patients reduce pain, stress through Ky. hospital?s therapy program
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
A patient at Norton Audubon Hospital who became a paraplegic with limited use of his arms and hands desperately missed playing the keyboard in his brother's band. Music therapist Jenny Branson enabled him to recapture some of his old magic by presenting him with a Q-chord, a digital autoharp designed for people with limited motor abilities.The man called his brother and said, "Dude, listen to this. That's me!" recalls Branson, an orchestral percussionist who also sings and plays guitar, dulcimer and piano. "He had tears running down his cheeks. At this point, so did I. I had been sent in...
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Magazine
Patient-care model works wonders | Erie Family Health Center sorts out roles, space issues to deliver results
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
In the past three years, Erie Family Health Center has boosted the portion of mothers who seek prenatal care in their first trimester to 77% from 44% and reduced babies with low birth weight to 5% from 8%, all while seeing a 73% increase in patients.The effort began when nurse midwives said they were concerned that collaboration was lacking, resulting in fragmented services, an opinion later independently expressed by obstetricians and case managers, says Xichel Woods, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago-based center, which has eight ambulatory-only locations and saw...
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Magazine
Wellness program drives ahead | Rolling doctor's office in Columbus, Ohio, helps lower infant mortality
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Expectant mothers on the south and west sides of Columbus, Ohio--particularly teen mothers--were less likely than most to avail themselves of prenatal care, and a 1992 study of babies born at OhioHealth's Grant Medical Center found a correspondingly high rate of babies ending up in the facility's neonatal intensive-care unit.Perhaps not surprisingly, the infant mortality rate in the two census tracts studied reached as high as 21 per 1,000 births, two to three times the national average.The combination of high teen-pregnancy rates and a lack of available care nearby led the medical...
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Magazine
Employee orientation a whole new ballgame | Interactive sports-themed sessions make for better first impression
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
When Nickie Hess started working at King's Daughters Medical Center 18 years ago, she slogged through a traditional classroom-and-videos orientation session."It was very long, very drawn out," recalls Hess, director of emergency services for the 536-bed facility in Ashland, Ky. "You had to drink a lot of caffeine. You got a lot of paperwork. You got a lot of information. There was very little interaction."Although the orientation nonetheless received "lovely" reviews, "It was still sort of obligatory, rather than something that really captured their hearts," says Susan Graham, director...
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Magazine
Wiping out waits | Calif. hospital's ER sees patient satisfaction rise
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
A set of standard protocols for common patient complaints has enabled the emergency department at San Antonio Community Hospital to greatly improve its patient-satisfaction scores while reducing wait times, earning the 283-bed facility a Spirit of Excellence service honorable mention.A new and more accurate electronic records system revealed the extent of wait times at the Upland, Calif., facility, which was built to handle 30,000 patients per year in 1973, but saw some 65,000 people during 2003."We thought, why can't we use the (patients') wait time to our advantage?" says Steve Ernst,...
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Magazine
Surgical infections pared | Pa. hospital rectifies 'frightening' situation
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Three years ago, only 48% of surgical patients received antibiotics within an hour of incision and just 11% had them discontinued within 24 hours at Monongahela (Pa.) Valley Hospital, a 253-bed stand-alone facility. The rate of those who received the appropriate antibiotic--89%--did not provide much comfort, either."The numbers are frightening," says Kathy Liberatore, infection-control manager.In May, the hospital achieved an average compliance of 95% receiving the appropriate antibiotic, 91% getting it within an hour of surgery and 91% having the antibiotic discontinued within 24...
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Magazine
Helping the invisible | South central Wis. center treats homeless patients
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Many residents of Rock County, Wis., did not think they had a homelessness problem as recently as a decade ago.But Mercy Health System, which has three hospitals with about 184 total beds, knew better. Emergency room physicians reported an increasing number of patients who lacked addresses, and a study by the small cities of Janesville and Beloit found about 121 homeless people, the majority of them children.The health system responded in August 1996 by opening the House of Mercy Homeless Center, which has provided more than 2,500 people with shelter, job skills, financial-planning...
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Magazine
Working despite disabilities | Cincinnati system reports low turnover, high work ethic
By Ed Finkel | December 12, 2005 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
To slow its turnover rate and boost the work ethic of its labor force, the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati two years ago began hiring people with disabilities through a screening program set up by the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission.Thirty-two hires later, the six-hospital, 13,000-employee system reports a reduction in its vacancy rate to 5.5% from 7.1% and a reduction in turnover to 12.6% from 18.1%, results that have earned the system a Spirit of Excellence honorable mention in the team category."The turnover rate is one of the things that always kills you," says Alan...
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