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Pennsylvania Hospital of Penn Medicine receives achievement award

Tuesday December 17, 2013
Shown from left ot right are John Stern, MD; R. Michael Buckley; Chris Huot, RN; Danielle Reynolds, RN; Maria Vacca, RN; Diane Angelos, RN; Daniel Feinberg; Debra Runyan; and Andy Carter.
Shown from left ot right are John Stern, MD; R. Michael Buckley; Chris Huot, RN; Danielle Reynolds, RN; Maria Vacca, RN; Diane Angelos, RN; Daniel Feinberg; Debra Runyan; and Andy Carter.
(Photo courtesy of Penn Medicine)
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Pennsylvania Hospital of Penn Medicine in Philadelphia was named a winner of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s 2013 Achievement Award.

Entries were evaluated by a 15-judge panel representing the public and private sectors and included leadership from the National Patient Safety Foundation, The Joint Commission and the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.

Andy Carter, president of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, visited the hospital Nov. 4 to present the award to Maria Vacca, RN, BSN, PCCN, CIC; Diane Angelos, RN, MSN; and fellow winning team members for their patient safety entry, “Prevention of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection in a Neurological ICU Using a Proactive Approach to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Bundle.”

“This award recognition confirms the commitment of our staff to quality and continuous improvement in the delivery of health care,” Daniel M. Feinberg, MD, FAAN, chief medical officer of Pennsylvania Hospital, said in a news release. “It is a tremendous honor for Maria and Diane and the whole team. What they accomplished with this initiative is truly impressive.”

In July of 2012, Vacca and her team began implementing weekly rounds on each patient in the NICU. They assessed specific criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent CAUTI. They then developed a rounding tool for data collection and analysis to assist with weekly rounds. Findings were communicated via email to the healthcare team in real time and unit nurses also were educated in real time as issues were identified and resolved. The team utilized the rounding tool as a guide to assess patients, educate their peers and collaborate with physicians and advanced practice providers to expedite the catheter removal process.

“Our initiative began over a year ago when it was identified that the NICU had a significant increase in their catheter-associated urinary tract infections,” Vacca said in the release. “Our idea was to stop reacting to infections after they occurred by taking a proactive approach to CAUTI prevention.”

During a nine-month period from when the initiative began, the NICU went from an average CAUTI rate of 9% per 1,000 patient days to zero, with an estimated direct cost savings of $40,000. The process, which has been successfully adopted by other clinical units at Pennsylvania Hospital, continues to evolve as the staff becomes more engaged in maintaining patient safety by preventing CAUTIs.

“We look forward to continue seeing positive results in our NICU and all critical care units of the hospital where the rounding process has been adopted,” Vacca said in the release. “We are extremely gratified by the results of our initiative and the positive impact it has had on patient care at Pennsylvania Hospital and we’re honored to be recognized by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.”

Additional team members involved in the award winning initiative are: Christopher Huot, RN, BSN, nurse manager, critical care; Paul Kinniry, MD, medical director, medical ICU; Danielle C. Reynolds, RN, MSN, CPHQ, CNOR, quality and performance improvement coordinator; Debra Runyan, BS, MT (ASCP), CIC, director of infection prevention; and the RNs of the neurological ICU.


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