Health & Hospital Association Announces 2020 Advancing Safe Care Award Winner

Advancing Safe Care Award

Spectrum Health Pennock Honored for Project to Eliminate Infections

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) announced the winner of its 2020 Advancing Safe Care Award June 25, honoring the healthcare team at Spectrum Health Pennock in Hastings for its Journey to Zero Infections project. 

The MHA Advancing Safe Care Award honors healthcare 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 healthcare. 

Normally presented during the MHA Annual Membership Meeting traditionally held on Mackinac Island, this year’s award will be presented at a later time.
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. 

The team instituted a focus on mitigating underlying conditions in patients scheduled for surgery, educating and monitoring patients to address such things as diabetes management, smoking cessation and lowering body mass index. A surgical policy for standardized protocol and management plans was instituted, and preoperative staff now engage patients in personalized education and goals. Shifts or trends in noncompliant performance are shared and resulting barriers to quality are addressed. 

Relevant data is communicated among departments and front-line staff, as well as with a hospitalwide committee and, ultimately, with medical executives and the board of directors. The hospital’s “speak up for safety” culture is demonstrated in the operating room by a briefing with patient participation prior to anesthetization and a time-out where staff can identify and discuss potential risks.