St. Clair Hospital continues to work together with our colleagues at Highmark to improve care for patients through our participation in their innovative pay-for-performance program, QualityBLUE.
Receiving accolades nationwide, QualityBLUE has demonstrated measurable improvements in patient care in a variety of areas. St. Clair Hospital has made its own improvements in the care of patients facing a range of medical problems:
- Measuring cholesterol levels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and prescribing cholesterol-lowering medication if appropriate
- Preventing surgical site infections by ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate antibiotic for their specific surgery and that the antibiotic is administered and discontinued within recommended time frames
- Decreasing blood-stream infections by ensuring that only patients who meet specific criteria have an IV catheter called a “central line” inserted into a vein near the heart. While these catheters are useful for administering medications, nourishment and IV fluids, they put patients at risk for infection.
- Preventing urinary tract infections in patients who have indwelling urinary catheters placed as part of managing their acute illness. Though these catheters are sometimes necessary, it is important that they be removed as soon as possible in order to decrease the chance of infection.
St. Clair focuses on infection prevention and has incorporated leading clinical practices into the Hospital’s everyday routine. Best practices used to help prevent infections from an antibiotic-resistant bacterium called Clostridium difficile (C.diff) include:
- Reconfirming that patients in need of antibiotics receive the correct medication for the correct length of time.
- Using the latest advances in disinfection control to help ensure that environmental cleaning is effective.
- Identifying those infected with community-acquired C.diff to make certain they are not spreading their infection to other patients.
- Improving the flow of patients throughout the hospital, beginning in the Emergency Department (ED). By making process improvements, we have decreased the time from arrival to the St. Clair Hospital ED until first seen by an ED physician to an average of 14 minutes.
- Assessing inpatients for the risk of developing a blood clot in their leg or in their lungs, and, when appropriate, administering therapy to prevent blood clots.
- Working with area skilled nursing facilities to effectively manage patients following discharge from St. Clair Hospital so that they do not become acutely ill again, requiring readmission to the hospital
Through consistent application of best practices and evidence-based medicine; and through working closely with our colleagues at Highmark, St. Clair Hospital has made significant progress in improving the care delivered to our patients.