Spectrum Health Pennock’s Journey to Zero Infections project was acknowledged Friday, June 25, by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) with its 2020 Advancing Safe Care Award.
The MHA Advancing Safe Care Award honors health care teams within MHA-member hospitals that demonstrate a fierce commitment to providing care to different patient populations, show evidence of an improved safety culture, lead the charge for quality improvement, and demonstrate transparency in their efforts to improve health care.
The Spectrum Health Pennock team set out to eliminate surgical-site infections in November 2017, when it had a 12% infection rate for colorectal surgeries. They began implementing procedures that resulted in zero complex surgical-site infections for colorectal and joint replacement surgeries between November 2018 and December 2019, and no complex infection rates with hysterectomies since February 2019.
“Safety is always our highest priority in surgical care,” said Andrew Parsons, MD, chief of staff and clinical chair of surgery at Spectrum Health Pennock. “When we noted elevated post-surgical infection rates, we immediately went to work. Great surgical care is a collaborative effort, and as a member of Spectrum Health, we have great access to support. Our local team collaborated with digestive disease specialists and colorectal surgeons within Spectrum Health to strengthen our evidence-based treatment protocols. This involved many disciplines including nursing, nutrition, physical and occupation therapy, respiratory therapy, infectious disease, anesthesiology, the surgical care team, surgeons and many other team members.
“The amount of effort that went into making these changes has been nothing less than astounding. It truly was a group effort. We are committed to providing the best patient care possible and will continue to take advantage of the collective knowledge of our expanded teams,” Parsons explained.