Blount Memorial Hospital achieves national Exemplar status

Officials with Blount Memorial Hospital recently announced the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) had awarded the hospital “Exemplar status” for its alcohol skin preparation prior to surgery. This award stems from the hospital’s participation in IHI’s Project JOINTS (Joining Organizations In Tackling Surgical Site Infections).

“Your organization’s willingness to share your invaluable hands-on-experience with others will help make hip and knee surgery safer for patients across the country,” said IHI, in a letter notifying Blount Memorial of the award.

Project JOINTS, through the IHI Network initiative, created the process for hospitals around the nation to apply to achieve Exemplar status after recognizing the need to diminish the incidence of surgical site infections.

According to Ann Henry, Blount Memorial’s senior infection control coordinator, the initiative included measures based on scientific evidence which included the use of alcohol-containing skin preparation prior to surgery, as well as the use of chlorhexidine gluconate bathing three times prior to surgery, and nasal decolonization if the patient had a positive nasal screen for MRSA.

“Recent Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) data proves that methods such as appropriate use of prophylactic antibiotics, hair removal, glucose control and normothermia considerably help reduce the SSI rate. The process measures recommended by the 5 Million Lives Campaign are identical to those being used in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services current Surgical Infection Prevention program, The Joint Commission’s current core measure set, and SCIP, said Dr. Daniel J. Berry, president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“Blount Memorial is thrilled to receive Exemplar status from Project JOINTS as this honor puts the hospital’s goal of providing top-notch, safe care and services from clinical staff in the forefront,” said Henry.

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