Baptist’s Focus on Quality Care Means Peace of Mind for Patients

Dec 1 • 2015

Quality care is of the utmost importance to every employee at Baptist Memorial Health Care. With 14 hospitals and a variety of physician practices within the Baptist system, we focus on making sure each and every entity is dedicated to strict quality initiatives. In 2015, we had several quality accomplishments that we’re looking forward to adding to in the upcoming year.

Reducing the rate of bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections was one of the major goals we had this year. Overall, this has been extremely successful. “We’re standardizing that work and that bundle and rolling it out to other hospitals,” said Susan Ferguson, Baptist’s Chief Nursing Officer. “We’ve seen some places with zero infections, which is everyone’s goal, but it is a great accomplishment in those facilities.”

Additionally, many of the physicians within the Baptist Medical Group (BMG) have been participating in a national initiative that is ongoing in Memphis called Measure Up, Pressure Down. This focuses on getting patients to be proactive about their blood pressure.

“One of the things this includes is making sure patients are on the right medication, doing the right things, and making sure we can get blood pressure under control,” said Dr. Mark Swanson, Chief Medical Officer at Baptist. “This has been going on for about two years. They look at the compliance and success every six months and watch the number of folks whose blood pressure is continuing to get better.”

This project has had significant success in reducing blood pressure in the overall community, so a similar initiative is preparing to launch in 2016. It will focus on diabetes care and encouraging people to take the steps necessary to regulate their blood sugar.

“If blood pressure and blood sugar is out of control, this impacts multiple organs in your body,” said Dr. Swanson. “A lot of those effects can be permanent and lead to significant disability going forward. It is very important to get these under control for your ongoing long-term health and survival.”

Baptist has also been working hard to reduce the number of falls and resulting injuries. “We are doing very well with a low number of falls with harm,” said Ferguson. “Any fall is one too many, so we are continuing to watch that.” Another benchmark is hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Baptist ranks extremely well nationally with a low number of these ulcers. “Again, one is too many, so we’re turning out patients frequently and paying close attention to the skin and layers of linens on the bed. This is a high priority for our units,” said Ferguson.

We understand that quality care is one of the most important factors when choosing a health care provider you trust, so giving our patients the peace of mind that comes with high-quality care on all levels is extremely important to us. You can find out more about our recent quality accomplishments here.