Hospital Spotlight -
Decatur County Hospital
Decatur County Hospital (DCH), located in Leon Iowa, has actively participated in the IHC Partnership for Patients (PfP) Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) since 2012. This year, they are increasing focus on leadership engagement to improve patient safety and quality. Read DCH's story below:
“To say Decatur County Hospital went through a dramatic change in 2015 is an understatement.” Stated Suzanne Cooner, CEO of DCH. “Our aspiration was to provide the safest and highest quality healthcare within our capabilities by incorporating patient safety and quality into every aspect of our everyday processes. It was most important to us that our patients knew they were receiving the best care we are able to give and that we would keep them safe while in our care.”
To stand the best chance of success with the shift in our care delivery system, we knew it had to be led from the highest level of leadership in our organization. This led us to restructure the Quality and Safety program to a team approach under the leadership of the CEO and several key staff members. Our goal was to place more of an emphasis on using the data we collected to improve our systems of care delivery and not just for the sake of submitting data to external agencies.
Under the guidance of our medical staff we have implemented numerous best practice protocols and standards and dramatically changed the way care is delivered within our organization. We continuously research innovative solutions to the complex challenges faced by smaller hospitals. We have only begun to tap our fullest potential and are very proud of the tremendous strides our DCH team has made in a year.
A few of our most notable achievements include:
- Implemented a Hospitalist and Internal Medicine program to provide more consistent physician presence in the hospital.
- Under the direction of the medical staff, DCH began daily multidisciplinary rounding to include all disciplines involved in patient care. This new process had greatly improved the communication with the patient’s physician and other practitioners. An exceptional communication tool was developed by the medical staff and clinical team to improve communication between providers.
- UR Coordinator/Discharge Planner also assumed the role of health coach.
- Improved our incident reporting system to concentrate on a “Just Culture” of reporting which focuses more on the process than who committed the error. We study the incident to determine processes we can put in place to prevent reoccurrence.
- Morning huddles address safety concerns and action plans are discussed and shared with all departments participating. A member of the administrative team sends out a huddle report to all staff in case they were not able to attend.
- Rapid response protocol and best practice standards and protocols have been approved by the medical staff and implemented in all appropriate departments.
- Numerous inservice trainings have been completed and competency training has been implemented starting with the clinical areas. We shifted more to “hands on” training.
- Process change alerts were implemented to make staff aware of all changes they need to be made aware of.
- Leadership huddles are held every Thursday morning to inform leadership staff of pertinent changes and communications.
DCH treats quality improvement like a team effort, involving all staff in the quality improvement effort. Quality at DCH is led by CEO Suzanne Cooner, RN, MSN, with the assistance of her Administrative Intern, Kolton Hewlett.
-Writing Credit: Kolton Hewlett