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Val Verde Regional Medical Center Implements Quality Initiatives

Friday, July 27, 2018

Val Verde Regional Medical Center is implementing some quality initiatives aimed at improving work processes in areas directly affecting patients. Of course, VVRMC has always put patients first but improving processes and making certain all involved staff hardwire these processes is a key component in growth and delivering healthcare our community can trust. “The focus is on improving the root causes of some of the issues we address,” says Quality Director Falan Durbin, “Instead of stop gap measures, we are going after the root and fixing the issues once and for all. The decisions we make are based on empirical data and not on anecdotal information. This allows us to make positive, permanent changes in a timely manner.”

Strategic Excellence Committees are one of the ways processes are being improved. Key players are chosen to form a group to get to the bottom of issues. They delve deep to find the root causes. One issue explored was stroke response. “Time is tissue when it comes to strokes,” says Durbin, “The faster we recognize and treat a stroke, the better the outcome for our patients.” The goal was to develop a process to identify strokes early and get the appropriate treatment going. One of the outcomes has been large banners posted around VVRMC letting everyone know how to identify a stroke (see photo). If the general public knows how to identify a stroke, they can get their loved one to the Emergency Department quickly. Another has been the implementation of a Stroke Alert process and mandatory training of all clinical staff on strokes. “We’re confident the new processes around strokes are going to improve outcomes for our patients,” says Durbin.

Another quality initiative receiving attention is infection control. Infection control is an issue at every medical facility. VVRMC is exploring the root causes and addressing them with nurse driven protocols and processes. The goal is to eradicate hospital acquired infection and the processes being put in place will support patient healing and care. Again, processes are being improved by addressing the empirical data, looking at trends and developing plans to address the root causes. “It is important to get to the bottom of any issues we face,” says Durbin, “It is the very best way to implement effective change.”

“Quality” is one of VVRMC’s core values and is defined as “We deliver excellence.” The goal is to make certain all departments are quality focused and working towards excellence in everything. The way this is happening is with process improvements, education and visibility. Everyone at VVRMC owns quality.