At UK HealthCare our focus is to provide the very best care to every patient, every time.
Certain measures help us to compare our performance with that of other similar hospital systems nationwide, enabling us to see how we’re doing and how we might improve. Looking at readmissions, for instance, helps us evaluate whether the patients received the best possible care while in the hospital and whether they got good, clear instructions on how to care for themselves once they went home.
Not all medical care can be standardized or quantified, but in those cases where it can, tracking our performance helps us to evaluate and improve the care we provide overall. Our Core Measures program helps us know whether we are doing the right thing every time.
Core measures are a set of evidence-based, scientifically researched processes or standards of care that are designed to improve outcomes for patients. Hospitals nationwide use these same core measures, which were established by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2000. Our goal is to provide this “best practice” care to all of our patients and to make sure it is documented accurately. By tracking our performance on these measures we can see how well we’re doing and identify areas that might need improvement.
PCI within 90 minutes of arrival
Oxygen is delivered to the heart via blood vessels. When one of those blood vessels becomes blocked, the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and a heart attack may result. When this happens, restoring blood flow quickly can lessen damage to the heart. Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCIs) are one way doctors clear blockages to get blood flowing to the heart again. There are three procedures included in the term PCI. They are:
Aspirin at discharge
People who have had one heart attack are at high risk for another. Aspirin helps keep blood clots from forming and lowers the risk of another attack. (Note: Aspirin can have other negative side effects such as stomach inflammation; if you think you need an aspirin regimen, talk to your doctor first.)
Prescription for a statin at discharge
Statins are medications that lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Multiple clinical studies have shown that statin medications reduce the risk of repeat heart attacks and death in people who have had a heart attack
Heart failure care (Higher is better)
Patients given discharge instructions
Heart failure patients who leave the hospital with clear instructions on how to take care of themselves have better outcomes. These instructions include information on:
3. Appropriate level of activity
4. Follow-up appointments
5. Making sure to weigh themselves regularly
6. What to do if symptoms worsen
Patient given an evaluation of LVS function
The proper treatment for heart failure depends on what area of the heart is affected. A left ventricular systolic (LVS) function assessment tells the doctor how well the left side of the heart is pumping.
The assessment may include an echocardiogram, a physical examination, a chest x-ray, and/or blood work.
Patient given an ACE inhibitor or ARB for left ventricular systolic dysfunction
ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors) and ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) are medications that block a hormone in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow. They help lower blood pressure and reduce how hard the heart needs to work. Heart failure patients who receive these medications have a significantly lower risk of death.
Pneumonia patients whose initial emergency room blood culture was performed prior to the administration of the first hospital dose of antibiotics
If pneumonia is caused by bacteria, hospitals will usually treat the infection with antibiotics. Different antibiotics are more effective at treating different bacteria. Blood drawn from a patient prior to the patient receiving medication provides the doctors the best information.
Hospitals use blood culture tests to determine the most effective antibiotic to treat a particular strain of pneumonia.
Pneumonia patients given the most appropriate initial antibiotics
Because different antibiotics are more effective at treating different bacteria, it is important that patients receive the best antibiotic as early as possible in their treatment.
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