Archbold’s Mitchell County Hospital was recently presented a prestigious Quality and Patient Safety Award by the Georgia Hospital Association’s Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA) for the hospital’s implementation of a project that improved patient transition of care. The project, titled “Transition of Care,” won third place in the Critical Access Hospitals category.
As part of the hospital’s overall plan to reduce readmission rates, the project centered around MCH staff focusing on improving the transition of care for its patients, with a specific focus on patient discharge plans. Hospital leaders set a goal to improve the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) transition of care score to the 75th percentile. HCAHPS is a standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.
“It is very important to us that our patients perception of care while at Mitchell County Hospital is such that they always feel well cared for and understand the details of their care,” said Carla Beasley, director of nursing at MCH. “In addition we want our patients to always feel comfortable about their transition home from the hospital. We know that patients who understand how to care for themselves at home have a reduced chance of returning to the hospital for the same condition. So it was our goal to standardize how we educate patients and prepare them for their transition home.”
According to Beasley, a multidisciplinary team implemented new processes, such as taking extra steps to ensure that patients were properly educated and understood all instructions for their continued care once they were discharged. After implementation, the HCAHPS score improved to the 93rd percentile for the first quarter of 2015, the 99th percentile for the second quarter, and the 92nd percentile for the third quarter. These improved results have been sustained for nine months since project implementation.
“Proper transition of care is a major part of ensuring the best patient care experience and is a priority of hospitals statewide,” said Georgia Hospital Association Chief Medical Officer Doug Patten, M.D. “We applaud Mitchell County Hospital for its outstanding work in this area and for its efforts in providing the best and safest care possible to its patients.”
“I’m very proud of our team for continuing to find ways to hardwire processes that result in better outcomes and experiences for our patients,” said Jamie Womack, MCH administrator. “Our team is focused on making our hospital the best place it can be for our patients, and it’s very rewarding to be recognized for our efforts.”