Hamilton wins Quality and Patient Safety Award

Picture are Judean Bowling (from left), surgical services director; Cathy Ferguson, chief nursing officer; Terri Brown, medical services director; Earl Rogers, GHA president and CEO; Shirley Parker, quality and accreditation director; Kimberly Hawkins, clinical quality project coordinator/sepsis coordinator; and Rhett Partin, GHA senior vice president of clinical services and public health. / Hamilton Medical Center

The Partnership for Health and Accountability presented its prestigious Quality and Patient Safety Award to Hamilton Medical Center for its project that increased sepsis awareness and education.

The project, titled, “Early Recognition and Intervention for Sepsis Management,” won second place in the hospitals with 100-299 beds category.

These annual awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.

The goals of HMC’s project were to create a new workflow, revise processes and introduce a “sepsis alert” within the electronic health record to quickly identify and treat patients with suspected sepsis.

A multi-disciplinary Sepsis Team – including representatives from the emergency medicine, hospitalist services, nursing, clinical education, pharmacy, laboratory, clinical informatics and quality management – was set up to discuss the strategies for change.

“This multi-disciplinary team approach and support of executive leadership were key to the success of this project,” said Kimberly Hawkins, clinical quality project coordinator/sepsis coordinator. “We’ll continue to focus on early detection because that provides the best chance for survival and recovery.”

“Rapid recognition and treatment of sepsis is essential to saving lives and improving patient safety,” said Earl Rogers, Georgia Hospital Association president and CEO. “We applaud Hamilton Medical Center for its successes and for making critical progress in patient safety while ensuring the best and safest care possible for patients.”

The PHA, an affiliate of GHA, was established in January 2000 to improve patient care and patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities and create healthy communities.

Founded in 1929, GHA serves more than 170 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia’s citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association.

Signs of sepsis

• Temperature that is higher or lower than normal

• Decreased urination

• Changes in mental ability

• Problems breathing

• Rapid heart rate

• Patches of discolored skin

• Unconsciousness

• Extreme weakness