Lucas County Health Center Receives Patient Safety Grand Prize Award

The 2017 Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) Patient Safety Awards were recently featured at the statewide Patient Safety Conference on March 14. Outstanding work in Lucas County Health Center (LCHC) led that hospital to earn the Patient Safety Grand Prize award.

This award is presented to healthcare providers and/or healthcare organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievement in patient safety. The Patient Safety Award aims to raise the standard of healthcare in Iowa by promoting a culture of continuous improvement in quality, safety and value. This award honors patient safety champions that support the following initiatives: improving patient safety, reducing the risk of harm and keeping patients at the center of care.

LCHC made great strides in improving medication safety for their patients in a multitude of ways. From bedside medication scanning to interdepartmental medication safety committees, LCHC has continued to drive its efforts forward. These efforts and hard work paid off as the hospital’s medication error rate decreased from 13% in the fiscal year 2012/2013 to 4% in 2015/2016.

Education also played a major role in medication safety improvements. Through conversations with patients, LCHC staff realized some of them were not understanding the medications they were being sent home with. This led to the development of the “My Medication List.” This document is written in a way that is easy for the patient to follow and is discussed before the patient is sent home. These changes helped improve patient safety tremendously.

“We are very proud of the work being done in Iowa,” said Dr. Tom Evans, president and CEO of IHC. “Patient safety is about eliminating unintended consequences of medical care. This award allows us to highlight some of the best efforts in our state as we work toward our vision of delivering the most effective and efficient healthcare in the nation.”