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MDH: The ONLY Hospital in Illinois to Receive This 2022 Award

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MDH: The ONLY Hospital in Illinois to Receive This 2022 Award

MACOMB, Ill. – During a recent virtual award ceremony held by the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, a seven member RN team of the McDonough District Hospital nursing staff were awarded for their work on improving patient safety. MDH was selected the 2022 hospital champion in the state of Illinois to receive this award.

The IHA recognized MDH for receiving the Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) PSO Patient Safety Champion Team Award for their work on IV Drip Titration Documentation Improvement. Their dedication to recognizing a potential patient safety issue and preventing harm managed to decrease inaccurate IV drip medication documentation.

MAPS only awards one hospital per year with the Patient Safety Champion Team Award. Recent award recipients included: Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Lake Forest (2021), DuPage Medical Group (2020), Rush Copley Medical Center (2019), Morris Hospitals and Healthcare Centers (2018), and OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center (2017).

“The nursing staff and leadership are to be commended for receiving this award. It has only been given out six times and is a statewide award,” said MDH Chief Medical Officer Edwin Card, MD. “To be able to obtain these results in a community hospital is a remarkable achievement.”

The nurses recognized include: Jolyn Utter, RN (Chair); Angie Waller, RN; Connie Elting, RN (Supervisor); Laci Zurek, RN; Stefany Kendrick, RN; Kaitlyn Damewood, RN; and Kortney Higgins, RN.

Director of Quality and Performance Improvement Trisha Getz, RN is the MAPS Coordinator.

“Medication safety is always top priority so whenever we see any potential for an error, or any drift from a protocol, that becomes a top priority to make everyone understand the order and implement the order correctly,” said Elting.

In taking a more proactive approach, the nearly four-fold success rate was a result of: classes to educate staff, monitoring of charts, adjusting IV pump programming, and sharing adjustment data to increase knowledge and accuracy. Three of the more common medications include those associated with: insulin, medications to support blood pressure, and blood thinners.

In hospitals across the country, IV drip titrations is one key area reviewed by The Joint Commission with many organizations receiving write ups on improper documentation. Chart audits that began last year prompted the discussion, planning, and implementing of these processes.

“I started doing IV drip audits the spring of 2021, and I saw there was a significant area of improvement needed in following our drip protocols. Working with a team, we came up with an educational plan on how to further the nurses’ knowledge on the drip protocols. We created a class for bedside nurses, focusing solely on titratable drips. This included classroom education, quizzes, in-depth protocol review, hands-on programming of IV pumps, and documentation in the electronic medical record,” said Utter, who served as Chair of the working group. “Documentation included ordering of the medication and how to change drip rates within the system. It was an extensive and comprehensive educational agenda for the nurses. The first classes began in the spring of this year, with required RN attendance. After the initial education was completed our percentage of correct documentation has skyrocketed.”

As a follow up every nurse goes through the class and Utter completes audits on every single chart where a drip is involved. “If any piece of the protocol isn’t being followed correctly then we do a 1-on-1 education,” said Elting.

The collaboration between various departments - Acute/ICU, Emergency Department, Pharmacy and Information Systems – helped during the training and education. Elting noted when patients start in the Emergency Department with a high-alert IV medication and they will be admitted to either Acute or ICU, the departments are communicating all details.

“We’ve had great teamwork on this project. Anytime a patient needs an IV drip titration it’s on everyone’s radar. We immediately begin communicating across departments, from ER to Acute or ICU.”

Both noted the work is not done, audits and education will continue on a daily basis.

“I am very proud of this accomplishment. I’m proud of our team and the nurses,” said Utter. “The nurses are more in-tune now. They know, even if it wasn’t a medication we went over in the class, they need to pay close attention to the fine details of a protocol. For example - I need to look at my rate changes, is there lab work I need to order, etc. The nurses know they need to look at these policies and protocols very closely.”

“For me personally I am very passionate about nurse education and think it should be a top priority in every organization. It is very rewarding when you see the end result of what a little group effort and improved education can impact your safety. The reason we are here is to provide quality, safe care,” said Elting. “The important next steps are to continue monitoring our progress and improvements and provide on-going education.”