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August 2005

Sharon Regional earns national award for patient care

Sharon Regional’s Intensive Care Unit/Critical Care Unit received a 2005 “Certificate of Excellence” award for its achievements in the VHA Intensive Care Unit Comparative Measurement Ventilator Bundle category. The award recognizes health care organizations that have distinguished themselves in national performance standards by achieving a high level of performance as measured by clinical quality indicators.

Each year $180 billion is spent on critical care across the U.S. With 30 percent of all hospital patients entering Critical Care Units with an estimated 500,000 deaths annually, the opportunity to make a difference is significant. Ventilator Associated Pneumonia is a common and highly morbid condition in critically ill patients that sometimes occurs when patients are placed on a ventilator.

By standardizing care and following guidelines, Sharon Regional’s critical care units were able to successfully decrease the number of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia cases. The results came from changes in evidence-based practice led by Sharon Regional’s Performance Improvement Team.

The multidisciplinary team is directed by Pulmonologists Jeffrey Lazar, M.D., and Samer Makhoul, M.D. Cindy Wetzel, APRN, BC, CCRN, a board certified advanced practice nurse specializing in the care of critically ill patients, coordinates the multidisciplinary approach, and members include personnel from nursing, respiratory therapy, dietary, physical and occupational therapy, and pharmacy.

VHA Inc. is a national healthcare cooperative owned by not-for-profit hospitals.

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