Mercy's patient safety tops recent statistics

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

In a list of 11 hospitals spanning from Kansas City to the southeast corner of Kansas, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott ranks best at preventing hospital-acquired conditions. Simply put, fewer cases of infections happen at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott.

In October 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began implementing financial penalties for hospitals that had high rates of infection in certain patient procedures. Hospitals are required to keep statistics and report the results of infections associated with Central-line Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI), Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI), and Surgical Site Infection (SSI). Also included in this score are certain hospital acquired conditions such as pressure wound, post-operative blood clot, sepsis, and hip fracture.

When analyzing the data, the lower the total hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) score, the better. According to the most recent calculation, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott's HAC score was 2.5, whereas an average of the 10 other hospitals within a 90 radius totaled 5.66.

The 11 hospitals used in this comparison are: Freeman Health System, Labette Health, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, Nevada Regional Medical Center, Olathe Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Premier Surgical Institute, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, St. Luke's South Hospital, and Via Christi Hospital Pittsburg.

Hospitals with HAC score greater than 6.75 are subject to reduced payments or reimbursements by Medicare for those procedures.

"Hand hygiene is the most effective way one can take to avoid infections," explained Brenda Stokes, executive director of quality at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott. "Mercy has a robust hand hygiene program within the hospital. We also use insertion kits for central lines and urinary catheters which contain evidence-based products known to reduce the risk of infections."

Mercy is the seventh largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 45 acute care and specialty (heart, children's, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.