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Hospital Wins Award for Quality Program

Community Hospital was the recipient of the 2023 Quest for Excellence award at the Nebraska Hospital Association convention in LaVista, Nebraska in October when it submitted the project, Cultures Resulting after Discharge. The quality improvement project focused on identifying the need for improving patient outcomes with proper antibiotic usage.

During positive culture reviews in late 2018 and early 2019, Community Hospital’s infection control committee found there was no process to ensure the ordering provider/physician was getting a copy of the culture and sensitivities results if they occurred after the patient had been discharged. The concern was some of these patients could be getting lost to follow-up, particularly if they had been seen in the emergency department and did not have a scheduled follow-up appointment with their provider. A follow-up appointment to review the culture and sensitivities results might have indicated a discontinuation of antibiotics or a change to a more appropriate medication. This could, in turn, help decrease morbidity, readmissions, and antibiotic resistance, reduce additional ER or clinic visits and decrease healthcare costs.

Through several cycles of learning, and applying the process improvement cycle of Plan, Do, Check, Act, the team developed a reliable process to review culture results using Community Hospital pharmacy staff. Since implementing the pharmacy-driven process, the post-discharge culture and sensitivities results follow-up reached 100% each month. In addition, Community Hospital was the first Nebraska Critical Access Hospital to complete daily prospective antibiotic review in partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Through the years, Community Hospital has developed a robust antimicrobial stewardship program through the leadership of its hospital pharmacists, including Pharmacy Director, Anthony Rodewald. “Community Hospital is setting the standard for what small hospital antimicrobial stewardship should look like. Their program has been consistently forward thinking in their approach to appropriate antibiotic use. It is an example that other hospitals could learn from,” said Dr. Van Schooneveld, Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at UNMC.

The Quest for Excellence award showcases exemplary and reproducible models of patient care to the rest of the healthcare community. It was developed in the early 2000s to recognize and reward hospitals for their quality improvement achievements.

In addition to the award plaque, each winning hospital received a $1,000 cash prize. Community Hospital members were recognized at the Nebraska Hospital Association convention banquet on October 27 as the winner in the critical access hospital category.

Other Honors Bestowed to Community Hospital at NHA Conference

Community Hospital Leadership Institute Graduates

Four Community Hospital employees were honored at the conference for work completed during the 2023 eighth-month long Leadership Institute. The Nebraska Hospital Association, in partnership with Bellevue University, recognized Community Hospital employees Charlotte Marks, Taylor Weiser, Michael Carpenter, and Baleigh Abbott, for fulfilling the requirements related to the NHA Leadership Institute program of study for health care in Nebraska. About 50 students from hospitals across Nebraska participated in this year’s institute.

Pacesetter Award

Community Hospital was awarded the Pacesetter award for having the greatest number of Critical Access Hospital leaders, compared to all other Nebraska CAH hospitals, participate through donations to the NHA political action committee.