Talon News - Good Local News



October 12, 2018

Quality Improvement Award

San Juan Regional Medical Center is one of just three New Mexico hospitals to earn the Quest for Excellence Award, the New Mexico Hospital Association's premier honor in hospital quality and performance improvement. San Juan Regional Medical Center is also a recipient of the 2018 Hospital Innovation Improvement Award, a multi-year initiative that aims to ensure better care for individuals throughout the state. The awards were presented in a ceremony last week at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the New Mexico Hospital Association in Albuquerque.

San Juan Regional Medical Center received the competitive Quest for Excellence award for work conducted between August 2017 and August 2018 on a project that used a collaborative and comprehensive approach to prevent surgical site infections. The effort began with a strategic planning process that focuses heavily on patient safety and a decision to apply Six Sigma methodology to the problem of surgical site infections. Infections at or near the site of a recent surgery are one of the most common and costly healthcare-related harmful conditions, according to the CDC.

"Risks for surgical site infections are extensive and varied. Our multi-disciplinary group made a focused effort to review the available literature and develop a scientific approach to decreasing infections after elective colon surgery," said surgeon Melania Yeats, MD, MBA, FACS.

Professionals from multiple teams within the hospital were engaged to examine even the smallest variations in processes before, during and after surgeries, carefully analyzing any point where a difference occurred. Using that data, staff were able to streamline processes, collaborating to ensure each adhered exactly to best practices. Hospital staff also enhanced the education provided to surgery patients.

"Our Colon Surgery Protocol involves the patient, their families, and the professionals who care for them before, during, and after surgery. Individual surgeons have worked for years to decrease infections after colon surgery; this project made it clear that a team approach and organizational commitment is needed to for measurable and sustainable improvement," said Dr. Yeats.

"We are very pleased the collaborative work performed on this process has resulted in such improved outcomes for our patients," added Starla Barela, Perioperative Services Program Director.


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