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Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital on Thursday received the Hospital Quality Award for successfully demonstrating high performance on several national quality initiatives.

The award from Mountain-Pacific Quality Health was announced during the annual Montana Hospital Association conference in Billings in October.

To be considered for the award, Marcus Daly had to work on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) core elements of outpatient antibiotic stewardship, and take steps to improve care transitions, medication safety, adult immunization rates, and patient and family engagement and satisfaction.

Director of Nursing Kathy Padilla said having an outside entity confirm quality of care is phenomenal. She said the award was for anti-microbial stewardship, their opioid monitoring policy, and transitional care management.

“We provide safe care and have good policies in place,” Padilla said. “We are part of an Accountable Care Organization that tasks us to make sure people transition out of the hospital and back in to their daily routine at home. It takes a whole hospital to win this award and I’m very proud.”

Jen Volenstine with Inpatient Nursing said the new policies guide the nursing staff, providing structure that allows nurses to give the safest care they can to post-surgical patients.

Stacy Epling with the Chronic Care/Transitional Care department added that the program has made improvements in patient care that gets them back to their primary care physicians.

John Bartos, CEO, said the award shows “the hospital’s medical team and their commitment to delivering quality, evidence-based medicine to their patients.”

“It also confirms that the medical staff is steadfast to our mission of delivering quality, accessible, personalized healthcare despite the changes in healthcare,” Bartos said. “I am proud of every employee and the medical staff, because each person on our team plays an important role in the care that is delivered.”

Lois Hedg-peth, vice chairperson of the hospital board, said the award was well-earned.

“The award is competitive against other hospitals and we were one of just seven hospitals in Montana to receive the quality award,” she said. “I’m very pleased and excited.”

Hedg-peth praised Mira McMasters, the director of quality at the hospital, in bringing some standardization to the hospital. But Hedg-peth added that the honor comes from a group effort.

“The board sets direction for the hospital every year and one of the things that we have emphasized is making sure the quality of patient care is excellent,” Hedg-peth said. “Lots of hospitals apply for (the award) and it takes a lot of work to gather the information and statistics.

"On behalf of the board we know this is an effort that has every individual in the hospital working on it. The award means we are serving our friends and neighbors well.”

McMasters said the whole staff should be proud.

“It took all of us,” she said. “We have a strong, strong structure at our facility and that is what enabled us to be one of seven hospitals to win this award. It shows we have the ability to change, change with the industry, and change with the information we get on best practices. I’m proud.”

Christy Fuller, Montana director for Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, said the application process for the awards are extensive.

“Not only do these hospitals have to meet the criteria, but they have to assemble the documentation and data to demonstrate their high performance,” Fuller said. “Through both their commitment to providing quality care to their patients and their ability to demonstrate they’re providing that high-quality care, they’ve certainly earned this recognition.”

Leadership must also be demonstrated.

“It’s got to start at the top,” Fuller said. “Health care facilities cannot achieve excellence without leadership at the helm. And then it takes a lot of hard work, commitment and follow-through from the rest of the staff. From CEOs to direct care givers to environmental services, everyone has to be committed to putting the patient first to find success.”

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