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Doylestown Health Patient Safety Initiatives Earn Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Awards

04/07/2016

DOYLESTOWN (APRIL 5) – Success with two innovative patient safety improvement efforts in stroke care and diabetes earned Doylestown Hospital a pair of awards from a regional healthcare authority. 

Two Doylestown Hospital patient safety projects were among the Top Ten winners of the 2015 Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Award sponsored by the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council and The Health Care Improvement Foundation. Winners presented their safety initiatives at the Health Care Improvement Foundation's leadership summit in Philadelphia on March 22.

Of the more than 20 hospitals in southeastern Pennsylvania that submitted more than 40 projects, Doylestown Hospital was the only organization to place two initiatives in the Top Ten.

The Doylestown Hospital stroke team's efforts over the last two years to reduce the time it takes to deliver clot-busting medicine to stroke patients earned a third place win. Director of Stroke Services Brooke Kearins presented to her peers at the March 22 summit, describing how Doylestown Hospital's partnership with community ambulances is saving time and brain.

The longer the brain is without blood flow and oxygen, the more damaging the stroke becomes. For certain strokes, the sooner a patient receives the clot-busing drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), the better the outcome. In the hospital, the goal is to deliver the drug tPA within one hour of arrival. The tight timeframe takes into account other variables – the time the symptoms are discovered, the reaction time of family or friends, the time it takes to get to the hospital. Every minute matters, and there are a number of tests that need to be performed in the hospital before the drug can be safely administered.

Doylestown Hospital was performing above national standards in the administration of tPA in 2013. With the goal of reducing that time, the stroke task force collaborated with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS), giving ambulance squads the discretion to call a stroke alert from the field. This gives the Emergency Department and stroke team a head-start in preparing for the patient. The number of patients receiving tPA tripled in 2015, and many patients left the hospital with little or no difficulty in resuming their normal routines.

At the March 22 Health Care Improvement Foundation meeting, Director of Diabetes Education Pat Trymbiski shared findings from another team effort to increase patient safety in medication administration, "Ensuring Patient Safety with High Alert Medication Humulin RU-500."

Since the start of the initiative, there have been no medication errors related to Humulin RU-500 administered to patients while in the hospital.

With the rising increase of obesity in the U.S., more people are developing Type-2 diabetes. At the same time, there is an increase in the number of people who are insulin resistant, which makes their treatment much more complicated. Some patients may start taking a type of insulin that is five times more concentrated than regular insulin. If the medication (U-500 insulin) is given in the wrong dose, the patient is at risk for serious complications, including death.

A team of Associates from Nursing, Pharmacy and Information Technology developed a safe and effective process to prescribe and dispense U-500 insulin based on individual patient needs.

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