SwedishAmerican presents Quality Awards

SwedishAmerican Health System offered its highest expression of distinction and appreciation to two recipients at its recent Quality Expo event.

This year’s recipients were Cathy Keith, director of Excellence in Academic Medicine (EAM) Grant Administration and Holistic Health Services, and the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Team. Both were recognized for their contributions to the organization’s pursuit of quality excellence.

Keith has integrated complementary services into a widely-accepted practice at SwedishAmerican and often works behind the scenes to ensure the success of the department’s programs. She has high standards for services provided by the employees of Holistic Health Services (HHS) Department, and extrapolates these expectations from current knowledge of federal and state grant-funded programs. As the EAM grant administrator, she translates peer-reviewed published research outcomes into clinical and organizational “best practices” across the continuum of care. Under Keith’s direction, HHS became a participant in the Baldridge Quality Program, demonstrating changes that would impact the organization and influence the care of patients and staff wellness and healing.

The Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Team is a diverse group of individuals united by the desire to be proactive in the identification of individuals at risk for primary and secondary obstructive sleep apnea. Two years ago, SwedishAmerican Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer Dr. Kathy Kelly challenged Dr. John Shiro and his colleagues to address OSA in peri-operative patients. With a rising incidence of sleep apnea, more and more patients reveal themselves when challenged with anesthesia for elective operations. Dr. Shiro engaged his partner Dr. Bryan Apple, and together they gained the support of their department in the acceptance of a simple screening tool known as STOP BANG, used to identify patients at risk for OSA. They successfully engaged Judy Shlafer, a nurse with IT talents, who imbedded the tool in the electronic record for ease of use. Team members include: John Shiro, M.D.; Bryan Apple, M.D.; Jon Michel, M.D.; Rick Deming, M.D.; Tammy Bloom, Dena Boehm, Karen Wessels, Chris Swartout, Judy Shlafer, Kay Blair and Patti Loveland.

In 2002, SwedishAmerican developed the Dr. Henry C. Anderson Quality Award to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to improving health care quality. The award is named after Dr. Henry C. Anderson, M.D., who was instrumental in SwedishAmerican’s quality initiatives for many years.

From the July 6-12, 2011, issue

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