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PRMC Presented 2013 McKesson Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence-MEWS Project

Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) was recently selected as the 2013 recipient of McKesson’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence. PRMC earned the award for effectively using an early-warning system along with healthcare technology solutions from McKesson to improve the quality of patient care and reduce mortality through quicker intervention.    

The Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS) system helps doctors, nurses and other caregivers to interpret patient vital signs and predict changing patient conditions that otherwise might not be recognized. PRMC adapted traditional MEWS scoring by incorporating a technology solution that provides prompts for caregivers to take action, even when a patient’s physical appearance might not have suggested that it was necessary.    

As a result, over a three-month pilot period in its 5 East Med/Surg unit, PRMC experienced no code blues or mortalities. And, over a nine-month pilot, there was a 67 percent decrease in code blues and a 76 percent increase in rapid response calls – which meant that care teams were addressing changing patient conditions more promptly. PRMC also rolled out the MEWS project in its 3 Layfield cardiac step-down unit, where there have been no code blues for the last three months. In addition, the MEWS system has been expanded to six medical/surgical areas, and PRMC has seen a 64 percent decrease in code blues and a 55 percent increase in rapid response calls on those units. PRMC estimates a potential annual savings of $3.2 million if it can prevent code blues across all medical/surgical units.

“We know that other healthcare facilities have used MEWS alerting to improve patient care,” said Chris Snyder, D.O., Chief Medical Informatics Officer and Chief Quality Officer, PRMC. “But with the assistance of technology to help interpret patient data, we took it a step further and complemented the work of our medical teams by providing bedside alerts. Our caregivers can now more quickly assess and determine a plan of care for each patient and intervene when a patient’s condition is deteriorating.”

The Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence was presented at a live competition April 16-17 in Denver. The annual awards program recognizes hospitals and health systems that have achieved notable results in improving healthcare quality and patient safety through the effective use of McKesson technology combined with the skills of their caregiving teams. In honor of its achievement, PRMC will receive a $5,000 grant from McKesson to its Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation.

Finalists were chosen by a panel of four industry experts based on the Institute of Medicine’s six aims of quality healthcare: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency and equity. In reducing code blues, PRMC effectively used the electronic elements for the MEWS score to help caregivers improve all six aims of quality healthcare: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency and equity.

“Peninsula Regional continues to demonstrate innovation in quality of care, and its patients are the beneficiaries,” said Jim Pesce, President, Enterprise Information Solutions, McKesson Technology Solutions. “By making full use of their technology and other resources, PRMC is leading the way for other organizations to do the same.”

For more information on this year’s awards program, visit the McKesson website at www.mckesson.com and search 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award.