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Charleston Area Medical Center

CAMC Health System receives presidential honor for quality

Quality is more than a buzz word at CAMC Health System - it's one of the organization’s six values. That commitment earned CAMC Health System recognition as a 2015 winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Awarded annually, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Baldrige applicants come from a variety of professional sectors including health care, education and nonprofit, among others. Of the four 2015 winners, CAMC Health System is the only health care recipient.

Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) – comprised of the system’s four hospitals -started its journey almost 15 years ago by redefining its mission statement to “Striving to provide the best health care to every patient, every day.”

“The word ‘striving’ has a lot of meaning,” noted Brenda Grant, chief strategy officer. “We’re never satisfied with the level of service or care that we provide – we always want to improve. It is our culture.”

As West Virginia’s largest not-for-profit hospital and largest provider of charity care, CAMC has to do more with less and do things right the first time. This reality, paired with its revised mission and approach, drives a culture of performance improvement that is deeply engrained across all levels.

“You have to think about your industry and your work differently,” explained Grant. “We were moving away from the silo mentality to a more systematic approach. That’s made a big difference for us, and that’s what accelerated our achievement.”

That systematic approach, which includes Six Sigma and Lean methodologies, also hinges on using its health information technology systems to extract and apply data to improve care. Leveraging capabilities within its Soarian electronic health record (EHR), CAMC easily targets and resolves workflow barriers and bottlenecks.

“We listen for very discrete processes, such as specific orders, medicines to be given, etc.,” said Dr. Glenn Crotty, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We push that data to our managers so they can identify areas that are successful and what they can improve.”

Identifying workflow improvements can produce profound clinical improvements.

For example, CAMC’s Performance Improvement Team examined the protocol for sepsis, CAMC’s highest cause of mortality. The team incorporated physician best practices and added patient monitoring alerts to trigger clinical evaluations to the Medical Emergency Team for early intervention.

The PI Team’s enhancements to processes and protocols – including increased automation and data integration – across CAMC resulted in 1,613 lives saved from 2011 to 2014.

“We’ve used the data tools to create alerts and processes to manage the patient’s care so that we’re not only meeting our quality measures, but also meeting that patient’s needs and expectations,” said Crotty.

It is CAMC’s goal to pair its performance improvement expertise with “data and analytics for early detection and intervention, rather than reactive reporting,” said Crotty.

A longtime partner of Siemens, now Cerner Health Services, CAMC decided to migrate from its current Soarian Clinicals EHR platform to Cerner Millennium.

Grant believes that adding Cerner’s experience to their team will be “extremely important” as CAMC “continues to learn and grow in the continued use of data.”

“We look forward to using our culture and expertise in performance innovation to help drive continued improvement and advance decisions by caregivers,” said Crotty.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.