North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal Rec­og­nized on the World Stage

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Nancy Gunn Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion, New­port, VT

It’s not very of­ten that a small, com­mu­nity hos­pi­tal has the chance to make it to the world stage, but that is just what North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal did in April.

Carol Martin, the Direc­tor of Qual­ity and Pa­tient Safety at North Coun­try, and Jil­lian Poutre, a cer­ti­fied phar­macy tech­ni­cian at the hos­pi­tal, were in­vited to at­tend the In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum on Qual­ity and Safety in Health­care. It took place be­tween April 17 and April 20. The con­fer­ence, which was fo­cused on how to im­prove pa­tient safety, was at­tended by health­care pro­fes­sion­als from around the world. Carol and Jil­lian were there to

show­case North Coun­try’s Med­i­ca­tion Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Pro­gram.

“North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal, given that it is a small ru­ral fa­cil­ity, is pro­vid­ing care at a level that is way ahead of other in­sti­tu­tions,” Carol said. She told how she was ap­proached by many peo­ple at the con­fer­ence im­pressed with the work the hos­pi­tal is do­ing, most no­tably when it comes to its Med­i­ca­tion Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Pro­gram, a pro­gram which Jil­lian spear­heads.

“The Med­i­ca­tion Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Pro­gram helps us avoid un­in­tended harm to our pa­tients,” Jil­lian said. She is quick to point out that she is only one of many peo­ple at North Coun­try ded­i­cated to work­ing to avoid med­i­ca­tion er­rors. “It’s a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort.”

She ex­plained that when a pa­tient is ad­mit­ted to North Coun­try, a phar­macy tech­ni­cian be­gins col­lect­ing the pa­tient’s med­i­ca­tion his­tory from mul­ti­ple sources in­clud­ing the pa­tient, fam­ily mem­bers, the pa­tient’s phar­macy, and the pa­tient’s pri­mary care physi­cian.

“I then com­pare and rec­on­cile all the lists,” Jil­lian said. “Fol­low­ing that, I doc­u­ment and update their cor­rected med­i­ca­tion list to their pro­file on our hos­pi­tal soft­ware. With this in­for­ma­tion ac­cu­rate to the best of my abil­ity, one of the hos­pi­tal phar­ma­cists then com­pares the lists of med­i­ca­tions the pa­tient was tak­ing upon his or her ad­mis­sion, to the med­i­ca­tions or­dered by the physi­cian. Dis­crep­an­cies, omis­sions, du­pli­ca­tions, con­traindi­ca­tions, changes, and un­clear in­for­ma­tion are iden­ti­fied and re­solved. I en­joy the in­ves­tiga­tive na­ture of the job.”

The pair was in­vited to at­tend the con­fer­ence when their process im­prove­ment ed­u­ca­tional poster de­tail­ing the method which North Coun­try rec­on­ciles med­i­ca­tion was one of 500 posters out of 2,000 sub­mit­ted to im­press the or­ga­niz­ers. Thomas Licht­en­berger, a graphic de­signer from New­port, as­sisted Carol and Jil­lian with the graph­ics.

About 3,000 peo­ple at­tended the con­fer­ence in Paris, France. Among the many other coun­tries which had a pres­ence at the con­fer­ence were: Africa, Canada, Eng­land, Ger­many, Italy, the Nether­lands, New Zealand, Sing­pore, Spain, Swe­den, and Thai­land. A por­tion of Carol and Jil­lian’s ex­penses were paid for by Com­pre­hen­sive Phar­macy Ser­vices, the com­pany which pro­vides man­age­ment ser­vices for the phar­macy at North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal.

Carol and Jil­lian told how a par­tic­i­pant from the Nether­lands ex­claimed that health­care pro­fes­sion­als around the world should use North Coun­try’s method of rec­on­cil­ing med­i­ca­tion, be­cause by do­ing so it could save count­less lives.

“All view­ers were im­pressed that a crit­i­cal ac­cess hos­pi­tal was able to trans­form a process and suc­cess­fully com­plete the med­i­ca­tion rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process at a 90 to 95 per­cent rate and make it to an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence to present our ac­com­plish­ments,” Jil­lian said. “They were in agree­ment; right­ful own­er­ship of med­i­ca­tion rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­longs to the phar­macy depart­ment due to the com­plex­ity of pa­tient’s med­i­ca­tion list. To com­pare how ground-break­ing our process is, in one of the ses­sions I at­tended the pre­sen­ter ex­pressed how they have a 40-per­cent com­ple­tion rate of pa­tients ad­mit­ted to their fa­cil­ity within 24 hours and their goal was to make it to 75-per­cent. Our ini­tial goal was 95% and we sur­passed that af­ter three months.”

As the Direc­tor of Qual­ity and Pa­tient Safety at North Coun­try, Carol said she is so proud of North Coun­try’s pi­o­neer­ing work in pa­tient safety.

“Since med­i­ca­tion er­rors are the num­ber one pa­tient safety is­sue, this is some­thing to be proud of,” she said. “We do, how­ever, have many chal­lenges that need to be tack­led. The pre­sen­ta­tions were great in giv­ing us ideas about break­ing down si­los within the or­ga­ni­za­tion, re­duc­ing re-ad­mis­sion rates, im­prov­ing ser­vice re­cov­ery, and see­ing that there is no sil­ver bul­let to solv­ing th­ese is­sues. We, like ev­ery­one else at the con­fer­ence, can just keep chip­ping away at the is­sues and learn­ing from each other.”

Carol and Jil­lian said the trip was well worth their time, and they plan to share with their col­leagues what they learned about pa­tient safety so North Coun­try can be an even safer place for peo­ple to ob­tain their med­i­cal care. And, although the con­fer­ence is now be­hind them, they are con­tin­u­ing to learn from it and the other par­tic­i­pants. At­tend­ing it gave them con­nec­tions from ev­ery cor­ner of the world to draw from in their mis­sion to pro­vide the best and safest med­i­cal care pos­si­ble at North Coun­try.Jil­lian Poutre and Carol Martin show­case North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal’s med­i­ca­tion rec­on­cil­i­a­tion pro­gram at the In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum on Qual­ity and Safety in Health­care.

Jil­lian Poutre and Carol Martin show­case North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal’s med­i­ca­tion rec­on­cil­i­a­tion pro­gram at the In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum on Qual­ity and Safety in Health­care.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.