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Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - SJH hospitals receive three national awards for clinical excellence

SJH hospitals receive three national awards for clinical excellence

VINELAND, NJ (July 18) – Both SJH Elmer Hospital and the SJH Regional Medical Center have been recognized with the 2006 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence in heart attack (acute myocardial infarction) care. SJH hospitals were the only health care organizations in New Jersey to receive the distinction, and two of 62 VHA member health care organizations, out of 2,200 nationwide, to receive the award.

Elmer Hospital also received the 2006 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence in Critical Care for the prevention of ventilator acquired pneumonia. The awards are based on the latest set of measures that have been nationally accepted as indicators of quality. Hospitals must achieve at least a 90 percent or greater compliance rate with all of the indicators to qualify for the award.

“I am very proud of our hospitals for demonstrating, once again, that our patients can receive superior care close to home,” said Chet Kaletkowski, SJH president and CEO. “It is indeed an honor to receive this recognition from a national cooperative that represents more than 1,400 community hospitals across the country.”

In addition to these distinctions, SJH was also presented with the President’s Award of Honor at the VHA Leadership Conference in May for achieving excellence in two award categories.

“Through our Performance Improvement committees, SJH physicians and staff are continually examining our processes to meet and exceed all of the state and national indicators of quality,” said Gladwyn Baptist, M.D., president of the SJH Medical Staff. “The fact that both of our hospitals received this distinction demonstrates the systemwide commitment to providing the highest level of quality care, which results in better outcomes for our patients.”

The key quality indicators for the heart attack care awards include the prescription of aspirin to patients upon arrival and discharge; the prescription of beta blockers upon arrival and discharge; and the length of time before a thrombolytic or PTCA was administered to a patient.

Elmer Hospital was one of only three health care organizations in New Jersey to receive the distinction for achieving no occurrences of ventilator associated pneumonia during at least a six-month time period continuously within the most recent calendar year. The elimination of infection must result from a change in evidence-based practice across the care team and at least 90 percent compliance with JCAHO’s intensive care unit core ventilator measures.

“Elmer Hospital has been participating in the VHA’s ‘Transformation in the ICU’ program since 2004, continually monitoring compliance in our ICU with a group of evidence-based practices that have been shown to decrease the occurrence of pneumonia in patients requiring mechanical ventilation,” said Janet Davies, vice president of Patient Care Services at Elmer Hospital. “Some of these practices include assuring that the head of a patient’s bed is elevated at least 30 degrees; providing patients with frequent oral care; closely monitoring patient glucose levels; and assessing daily a patient’s ability to discontinue use of a ventilator.”

Membership in VHA is voluntary and provides health care organizations with expertise to enhance their performance and surpass national quality standards for health care delivery. The VHA’s membership includes nearly 1,400 of the nation’s community hospitals.

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents. Please visit www.sjhealthcare.net to learn more.

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