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River Park among elite in patient safety
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River Park was recognized for being in the top 5 percent of the nation’s hospitals in terms of safety during a ceremony last week on the hospital lawn.
Healthgrades, a leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, presented River Park with its 2015 Patient Safety Excellence Award. Healthgrades evaluates over 4,500 hospitals each year, according to representative Ellen Mouton.
“This is based on three years of statistically driven data,” said Mouton in presenting the award to River Park CEO Tim McGill. “Nobody can opt in or opt out of this. We do this as a way to protect patients from serious and preventable complications.”
McGill said this award puts River Park in exclusive company. He said only 15 hospitals in Tennessee received this distinction for 2015 and only four of the 15 are rural hospitals like River Park.
“This is a very elite group and we’re proud to be part of this group of hospitals,” said McGill. “All of this today is about River Park taking great care of our patients.”
Mouton said she recently had a discussion with a hospital CEO from the West Coast. She said hospital safety is very much on his mind, regardless of his profession.
“He told me he’s a hospital executive, but he’s also a patient,” said Mouton. “And when he goes to a hospital he wants to know if they’re going to fix him or hurt him.”
In determining hospital rankings, Healthgrades relied on 13 patient safety indicators on patient information from 2011 to 2013.
Healthgrades said patients treated in hospitals receiving the Patient Safety Excellence Award were, on average:
• 43.9 percent less likely to experience an accidental puncture or laceration during a procedure, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
• 53.6 percent less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
• 47.4 percent less likely to experience catheter-related blood stream infections, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
• 43.8 percent less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
Healthgrades chief strategy officer Evan Marks said it takes dedication from the entire hospital staff to achieve an award like this, saying it takes “an organization-wide commitment to delivering high-quality care.”
River Park also presented Jared Hendrix with the 2015 Safety Champion Award during the ceremony. Hendrix was selected from a list of four finalists that also included Dawn Wanamaker, Suzanne Parsley, and Kristina Smith.
Hendrix is the hospital’s pharmacy supervisor.
River Park chief quality officer Christy Kerstiens praised Hendrix for being an outstanding attribute to the hospital and always making safety a priority.
“His intelligence and ability is a shining light in a changing healthcare world,” said Kerstiens. “He takes time to explain best practice. He is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure patients are safe. Because of his hard work and commitment to patient safety, both physicians and nurses confide in him when they have questions. Because of his guidance and hard work, many lives have not only been save, but had quality of life enhanced. Game changer seems appropriate, but he is a life changer.”
Hendrix received his award from Lorie Smith, the 2014 Safety Champion.
For more information about Healthgrades, to download a full copy of the report, or to receive information about hospital and physician quality, visit: