Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has received the National Association of Public Hospitals’ 2013 Gage Award for Improving Population Health for its Coordinated Care Center – a program that has significantly reduced emergency department visits and inpatient stays.
HCMC’s Enhanced Discharge Transitions of Care Team, part of the Health System Pharmacy Services, was one of eight programs recently recognized for improving patient outcomes and reducing hospital readmissions by the Medication Management in Care Transitions (MMCT) Project of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP). Eighty-two programs were evaluated through a stringent, competitive process.
HCMC’s model began as a pilot in June 2011 by deploying pharmacists to complete medication reconciliation upon discharge and medication therapy management at the follow-up clinic appointment within 5-7 days of discharge. This model focuses on patients that are admitted to the inpatient general medicine service, regardless of diagnosis. The program has since expanded its services throughout the medical center and primary care and retail clinics.
“We addressed some key issues that were affecting the discharge process and our team responded to the needs of our patients,” explains HCMC’s Director of Pharmaceutical Services Bruce Thompson. “From previous work we knew our medication reconciliation provided positive results, so we added the pharmacist visit shortly after discharge, and it provided great outcomes by improving patient care.”
The care transitions programs improve care as patients move within the health care system and from acute care to home settings. The eight best practices identified by MMCT will be shared with health care providers and organizations, government agencies and other interested stakeholders to help demonstrate and model how using pharmacists in transitions of care can improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.
The MMCT plans to highlight key elements from these successful programs, describe implementation barriers and recommend strategies for addressing these barriers in a report that will be available later this year.
HCMC physicians are advising that people with chronic medical conditions, like those with heart or lung problems, take extra care to avoid extreme heat conditions.
“While there is no direct relationship between excessive heat and cardiac arrest, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can lead to cardiac arrest requiring CPR and defibrillation in some instances,” explains HCMC cardiologist Dr. Brad Bart. “Patients with chronic cardiopulmonary conditions are put under extra stress when the weather is excessively hot and this can lead to worsening heart failure, severe dyspnea, worsening angina and/or myocardial infarction.”
It’s important to check on elderly friends and family members — and those who have health concerns — when heat advisories are issued. Make sure they stay cool and are drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated.
Kelly Spratt appointed by Governor to EMS Regulatory Board
Kelly Spratt, Director of Emergency Services at Hennepin County Medical Center, was recently appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to Minnesota’s Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) and is now Chair of the 19-member Board.
Established by the 1995 Minnesota Legislature, the EMSRB consists of an emergency physician, a representative of a Minnesota hospital (Spratt), a fire chief, a full-time firefighter, a volunteer firefighter, an active attendant of a licensed ambulance service, an ambulance service director, a representative of sheriffs, a member of a local board of health, two representatives of regional emergency medical services programs, a registered nurse currently practicing in a hospital emergency department, a pediatrician, a family practice physician, and a public member at least 65 years of age. The commissioner of health, the commissioner of public safety, a state representative, and a state senator round out the Board membership.
The EMSRB is responsible for licensing ambulance services, certifying emergency medical personnel, approving EMS training programs, designating and funding eight regional EMS organizations that support emergency medical services, and administering several grant programs.
Spratt has more than 22 years of experience in health care leadership. His four-year term as a representative of Minnesota hospitals expires January 5, 2015.