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BCH Receives Quality Award

February 1, 2013

Boone County Hospital (BCH) recently received an award for demonstrating continuous quality excellence and innovation, and proved its commitment to offering the highest quality care to its patients and the communities they serve. There are only eight hospitals in the entire United States that received this award.

The National Rural Health Resource Center has recognized BCH for their participation in national quality initiatives. BCH was nominated for the award by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Flex Program. A special awards ceremony will be held on February 12th in the BCH Atrium with hospital administration, staff and physicians in attendance.

BCH publicly reports to Hospital Compare and participates in the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project with HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, a national standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care). BCH participates in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality TeamSTEPPS training, a powerful solution to improve patient safety, and an evidence-based teamwork system to improve communication and skills among health care professionals. They have implemented Lean, an idea to maximize patient value while minimizing waste, as well as continuous quality strategies to improve process and patient care outcomes.

As a critical access hospital, BCH has consistently demonstrated excellence in quality initiatives with documented outcomes by scoring above average on the majority of patient safety measures when compared to other Iowa hospitals. “We continually review our data, implement improvements, and strive to be a high performer while continuing to show progress and safer care. This improvement occurs because everybody in the hospital is on the same page for the quality of patient care,” says Howard Eikenberry, BCH Assistant Administrator of Information Technology/Quality Improvement. “The hospital also actively participates in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Partnership for Patients Program. We have completed improvement efforts to reduce infections in the hospital, and have also implemented policies and processes to eliminate early elective deliveries that are not medically needed.” Physicians, staff, and leadership have engaged in the quality improvement process and are active participants.

The National Quality Award was established by The Center and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to recognize the excellent work in critical access hospitals (CAHs) throughout the country.

This year, out of 1,331 CAHs from across the United States, 20 hospitals were nominated for recognition. “This year’s recipients embody both outstanding quality and meaningful innovation,” said Terry Hill, Executive Director of the National Rural Health Resource Center. “They demonstrate that rural hospitals can lead the way in the rapidly changing health care industry.”

Health care delivered in rural communities is affordable, high quality, and necessary to the good health of the entire community. “Having high quality health care services available locally is crucial to the safety, health, and economic well-being of our community,” says Joe Smith, BCH CEO.

“Boone County Hospital is one of 82 CAHs in the state that are improving coordination of care across health systems and implementing best practices in patient safety. BCH is committed to using evidence-based practices to improve patient outcomes and increase communication and teamwork among health care professionals,” said Kate Payne, Iowa Flex Program Coordinator, Iowa Department of Public Health.

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