UPMC St. Margaret’s Quality Improvement Project entry “Improving the Medication History Intake Process” was chosen as an “In Safe Hands!” award winner. Patients often receive new medications or have changes made to their existing medications at times of transition in care during hospitalization and/or physician visits. They don’t always have access to their current medication lists or dosages, which can lead to inaccurate information being given to physicians and advanced practice providers who are ordering their medications.
The winning entry highlights a specially trained team at UPMC St. Margaret focused on reducing error rates on medication histories by 42 percent during a pilot program. The team includes patient assessment nurses and unit-based clinical pharmacists who focus on completing thorough and accurate medication histories on patients admitted to the hospital. "A comprehensive review to ensure medication accuracy (medication reconciliation) has been shown to improve outcomes by reducing medication discrepancies, potential adverse drug events and avoidable hospital readmissions,” said Rebecca Jahn, M.S.N., R.N., C.M.S.R.N., quality nurse coordinator, UPMC St. Margaret.
“Taking the prescribed combination and dosages of medications, both during and after the patient’s hospital stay, is a vital component of the short- and long-term healing process,” said Dave Patton, president, UPMC St. Margaret. “We’re so proud of our teams at UPMC St. Margaret who have studied, refined and redesigned processes like this to improve care and experiences for our patients.”
UPMC Passavant’s entry, “It Takes a Village to Raise Awareness: Making Colon Cancer Screening Easy and Accessible,” received a “Community Champions Award.” Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with one-third of adults not being screened. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, if everyone aged 50 to 75 received regular colon cancer screenings and acted upon the results, at least 60 percent of deaths from colon cancer could be avoided.
To carry out the mission of enhancing the health of their very large “village,” local health care and community leaders sought solutions to address this deficit and ultimately improve colon cancer screening compliance. With the cooperation of dozens of community entities, twice-yearly colon health screenings and education sessions are offered to the community in an accessible manner. Since November 2017, 200 people have participated in this program.
“By offering the screening at no cost, providing free transportation for those who need it, educating all who attend, and following up with personal phone calls and letters, we aim to instill a lifelong commitment to healthier screening habits — with the ultimate goal of preventing deadly colon cancers,” said Kathleen Bryte, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N., clinical education specialist, UPMC Passavant.
“This recognition is an example of the outstanding commitment of our UPMC Passavant teams to improve the health and wellness of people in our region,” said Dave Martin, president, UPMC Passavant, and senior vice president, Health Services Division, UPMC. “Our goal is to continue collaborating with our community partners to create and expand important preventive health screening opportunities like this one.”
“HAP congratulates this year’s Achievement Award winners and all entrants for their innovative and creative efforts to transform Pennsylvania’s health care landscape,” said Andy Carter, HAP president and CEO. “This year’s theme — Delivering a Healthy Pennsylvania — speaks to the hospital community’s focus on improving patients’ overall health, and each winner’s work highlights the best of Pennsylvania’s cutting-edge, consumer-focused care.”
Entries were evaluated by a 16-judge panel. The panelists, drawn from Pennsylvania and across the nation, represented the public and private sectors, business organizations, consumer groups and renowned health care quality institutes. The Achievement Awards program began during 1978.
L to R:
UPMC: Ron Campbell, Kathleen Fowler, Rebecca Jahn
HAP: Andy Carter