Lourdes Care Excellence & Safety
Lourdes seeks always to deliver the best in healthcare. To achieve true excellence, the Lourdes Health System carries forth a wide range of programs, efforts and processes aimed at maximizing the quality of its medical care, at optimizing patient safety, at accomplishing the best in patient outcomes and at enhancing the overall experience for patients, family members and healthcare providers. Many of the steps that Lourdes takes, to achieve quality through care excellence and safety, are simply not found at other hospitals.
Lourdes builds a premium, teaching-and-top-community-hospital level of quality into each act of care and into each of its Programs & Services. The awards and rankings it receives—including for complex forms of medical care—illustrate the extra level of professionalism and skill offered in all areas of its health system.
In 2008, in its fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study, HealthGrades® designated Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center as among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationally for patient safety. The study looked at patient monitoring, infections, injuries and complications, among other factors. The rating placed Lourdes in the top group of hospitals nationally for preventing patient-safety incidents. Lourdes safety policies and safety teams help to support this excellent record. Lourdes bases its patient-safety initiatives on best practices outlined by the Institute for Health Care Improvement and the Institute of Medicine. Lourdes Health System patient safety initiatives are aligned with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, National Quality Forum, and the Institute of Medicine.
Part of creating a safe medical environment is assuring that staff members are always conscious of providing safety education and tips on safety for patients and their loved ones. It also means encouraging patients and their families to take an active role in helping Lourdes meet their needs, so that the health system and its medical teams can take any corrective actions around safety.
Lourdes' recognition in these areas goes hand in hand with an extensive array of special, Lourdes-specific initiatives that contribute to both care excellence and patient safety:
HealthGrades® has recognized Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center with its Patient Safety Excellence Award.
- Rapid Response Team
Lourdes’ Rapid Response Team serves to quickly respond to patient emergencies that take place in the medical center, outside of the critical-care units. The team remains at the ready to address calls to its Dial 11 emergency number, 24 hours a day. Learn more.
- Patient Safety Connect Line
Lourdes has a message line on which patients, family members and visitors can submit questions, comments, complements or concerns regarding the quality or safety of care at Lourdes. Staff members promptly respond to these messages. Learn more.
- Barcoding for patient safety in medication
Lourdes Health System has helped to lead the region in using scannable bar codes to assure that each patient always receives the correct medication in the right way, in the correct dose, at the right time. Since 2004, the wristband that every Lourdes patient receives upon admission carries a unique barcode with which nurses and others can verify the patient's identity (using a handheld scanner), each time the patient receives medication. Connected to each nurse's laptop computer, the technology uses Siemens Medical System's MAK (Medication Administration Check) software to link to Lourdes pharmacy-information database, confirming that the drug administration is appropriate, and alerting the staff to any possible medication errors in advance. Find out more in this Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed by Lourdes' chairman and CEO, Alexander J. Hatala. [309K PDF]
- Falls-Prevention Program
Falls remain a significant danger and source of complication in hospital stays. Weakened patients moving about, including into and out of bed, in unfamiliar surroundings with special equipment, create a risk of injury for themselves. Lourdes has gone directly and successfully after this patient-safety issue with its own Falls Prevention Initiative. [47K PDF]
Fall Prevention Resources
- National Resource Center on Aging and Injury
- Preventing Falls Among Seniors
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control
- Preventing falls in older adults
- Electronic tracking and reporting system in the Emergency Departments
Lourdes Health System uses an electronic-records and triage system in its emergency rooms that reduces the amount of time patients wait for treatment and that promptly faxes a treatment report to the patient's primary physician. Find out more. [272K PDF]
- Automation for fast and efficient lab results
Lourdes Health System has invested in a state-of-the-science system for lab testing of blood and other samples. With the computerized system, technicians don't need to draw as much blood from patients or collect as much specimens. Plus, doctors and patients get faster results faster. Lourdes medical centers are among the very few in the region that have automated their labs in this way. Find out more. [272K PDF]
- Digital system for fast, crisp, portable radiology
Since 2006, Lourdes Health System has taken advantage of an advanced, digital-imaging system that allows its radiologists to take, receive, interpret and report on images faster. The staff, as well as referring physicians, can view the high-quality images from any computer over a secure connection. Doctors can see studies and their reports within a few minutes—a critical difference for urgent or emergent situations. And patients can take their images with them on a CD. Find out more. [272K PDF]
- Electronic equipment tracking to help care flow, safety and cost
Lourdes Health System is a leader in using a special, radar-based system to map the use, movement, location and status, in real time, of important medical equipment that is essential to smooth, timely patient care in its hospitals. The RadarFind Real Time Location System (RTLS) tracks tagged equipment, reducing hospital expenses (by making equipment use more efficient) and helping the staff to prevent infection by identifying both durable and electronic equipment in need of cleaning or sterilization. Find out more.
- E-Signature for physician sign-off
When doctors on staff at Lourdes dictate a report on a Lourdes inpatient, they can review it, edit it and sign it electronically—adding to the speed, accuracy and safety of patient charts and medical records. Find out more. [220K PDF]
- Immediate electronic reports to physician offices
Lourdes has rolled out a new system that permits medical offices to receive laboratory results, radiology readings and transcribed medical reports directly into their electronic medical record system, or access this information over a secure web portal. The new approach [195K PDF]eliminates faxes and speeds important medical information back to patients and the clinical and office staff at doctors' practices. Find out more.
- Portable "thumb drives" to help dialysis patients better manage their care
Staff members at the dialysis center at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center have a developed an easy way for patients to carry their medical records with them—on thumb drives. Also known as jump drives, or flash or USB drives, these devices can carry large amounts of information but, at about the length and width of a thumb, fit easily into a pocket or onto a key chain. Whether receiving emergency, primary or routine hospital care, dialysis patients can provide caregivers with the drive as an immediate reference for diagnosis, medications, allergies and other information. Having these records in hand electronically makes care in the dialysis service safer and it reduces errors. Find out more. [694K PDF]
- Emphasis on stress reduction and complementary & alternative forms of care
Lourdes Health System has helped to lead the New Jersey/Delaware Valley area, and its medical community, in providing inpatients and outpatients with access to integrative medicine techniques and therapies, in part through the expertise at the Lourdes Wellness Center. For patients in the hospital, this effort includes Lourdes' innovative Comfort Cart program, as well as its Inpatient Massage Therapy program, Musicians on Call program, and Therapy Dog program.
- Making independent care for the elderly all-inclusive and less costly
Helping to lead a national initiative, Lourdes is the first provider in Southern New Jersey to create an alternative to nursing home placement by offering adult day care, medical care, home health coordination, medication management, social services and respite care in one program. Find out more about the Life at Lourdes Center.
- Every day, Lourdes celebrates Its physicians who change people's lives and safeguard community health
See Lourdes' Physician Spotlight.
Even with all the accolades it receives on quality, the Lourdes Health System never rests on its laurels. Lourdes constantly expands its array of investments, programs, features and training aimed at making it one of the foremost health systems in care excellence and patient safety.