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Safer Patient Care

headshot of Shelly Egstad
Tomah Health Quality/ Compliance Director
Shelly Egstad, MASL, RN

Wisconsin hospitals have been ranked among the best in the country for safe and satisfying health care, according to a new report released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA).

“According to our patient experience data we are above the national average in every area, which lends toward safe patient care,” Tomah Health Quality/ Compliance director Shelly Egstad, MASL, RN said of the WHA report.

Egstad cited above national averages from patients that rated the quietness and cleanliness of the hospital, how doctors and nurses communicated well with patients, staff explanation of medications and discharge instructions, how well pain was controlled and overall recommendation of the hospital and ratings the facility. “We are very pleased with the results, however we know that the results are a point in time and we need to continually work at improving every day,” Egstad added.

The state report cited Wisconsin hospital rates of hospital-acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line, and Clostridium difficile infections dropped in 2017, and are now below the national rates, referencing WHA’s CheckPoint website.

Egstad said Tomah Health does well on a number of infection rates citing low scores for catheter associated urinary tract infections, central line associated blood stream infections and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. She said Tomah Health as gone 843 days without a catheter associated urinary tract infection. “Over two years without a CAUTI is an impressive number, considering the risk for infection,” said Egstad.

The state report also detailed how hospitals are improving patient and family engagement through the increased use of the patient voice and perspective in strategies like shift change huddles and patient advisors on governing boards. The report includes examples of how Wisconsin hospitals have improved their patient-centered approach to positively affect health outcomes. “The delivery of effective, high-quality patient care creates healthy communities where people want to live and work,” according to WHA’s Chief Quality Officer Beth Dibbert. “There is always more work to do, and knowing that our hospitals have a positive effect on people’s lives gives us the encouragement to do even better.”

In 2017, Wisconsin received the #1 ranking by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and has consistently ranked among the top five states since 2010. Also in 2017, Wisconsin’s critical access hospitals were ranked #1 in their peer group by the Health Resources and Services Administration for quality reporting and levels of improvement.

“WHA is pleased to support the outstanding work of our member hospitals, and our strong presence in the nation is further evidence of a commitment to transparency and improvement,” according to WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “This work is far from over, but we are renewed in our shared mission to deliver the right care to each patient, each time.”

Egstad said rates for individual hospitals on many quality-related measures, including Tomah Health can be found online at WHA’s website. CLICK HERE

Tomah Health