"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Patient Safety At WMHS

Last evening, a team of physicians and staff attended the Maryland Patient Safety Center's Award Ceremony hosted by Rudy Giuliani.   WMHS was invited because we were the guests of honor.  You see, we won the Maryland Patient Safety Center's Award for Patient Safety.  The award is presented each year to the hospital or health system that has the most innovative patient safety solution in the state.  We won for "Door 2 Balloon: A Rural Community's Story of Shifting Cath Lab Activation for Acute MI to EMS First Responders".  What that means in English is that we now allow for emergency medical responders to activate our cardiac catheterization lab from the field when they suspect that a patient is having a heart attack. The goal is to deliver cardiac intervention within 90 minutes of the patient's arrival to the hospital.  Field activation has reduced D2B to an average of 55 minutes with a low of 40 minutes.  What I find amazing is that 50% of our heart attack patients still arrive by private vehicle and that average is 73 minutes.  Having a heart attack is a situation whereby every minute counts so that 18 minutes could be the difference between life and death.  We now have a campaign to educate those in our region to call 911 rather than driving to the ED.  Another interesting aspect of this life saving initiative was the number of potential false activations from the field.  For the last three years, the average has been about 14% of the time activation wasn't necessary, but 86% of the time the EMS responders were correct.  An excellent outcome and a credit to our region's emergency medical responders.  Receiving  this award is great recognition of the very hard work of dedicated physicians and staff at WMHS.  Congratulations on a job very well done!

   I will be away next week so my blogs will resume the week of April 15th.

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