Patient safety is a very important part of providing a great experience and superior surgical outcomes.
Patient safety is a very important part of providing a great experience and a superior surgical outcome for our patients who have surgery and stay at the OSS Orthopaedic Hospital. We want you to get back to doing the things you enjoy. So, what is OSS Health doing to keep you safe and to provide the highest quality of care?
OSS Health performs a variety of orthopaedic surgeries and understands that a post-operative infection can be devastating. To prevent surgical site infections (SSI) OSS Health has gone above and beyond what is typically done to prevent infections.
Between April, 2016 and December, 2016, OSS Health has performed 1456 surgeries and has had only 8 SSI’s for a rate of .54%. For all of 2016, the rate of infection was .44%. Although this is up from the last report, 2016 was better than 2015. Infection Prevention Info
OSS Health has implemented a new technology called Xenex to combat infections. The Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots use ultraviolet light to disinfect any space within a healthcare facility to further enhance patient safety. We are using this device in our operating rooms and patient rooms. For more information, check out www.xenex.com.
Improve Blood Sugar Control in our diabetic patients to prevent infection
Diabetic patients are more likely to get a surgical site infection (SSI). When a patient’s blood sugar is high, germs have a place to thrive. If germs get into the body, a diabetic patient with a high blood sugar level will have a much harder time fighting the germs and an infection can develop. Over the last 18 months OSS Health has taken a companywide approach to improve blood sugar control in diabetic patient having surgery.
In the first three months of 2015, only 58% of patients had their Hemoglobin A1c (or HgA1c) well documented before surgery. In the last 9 months of 2016, 81% of patients had their HgA1c documented before surgery, and even closer, in the last 3 months of 2016, the percentage of patients is up to 96%. OSS Health continues to work on managing blood sugar control in our diabetic patients to avoid infections and enhance patient safety. View more information on blood sugar.
Falls are a prevalent patient safety problem. Elderly and frail patients with fall risk factors are not the only ones who are vulnerable to falling in health care facilities. A patient of any age or physical ability can be at risk for a fall. Every year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of patients fall in hospitals, with 30-50 percent resulting in injury. Injured patients require additional treatment and sometimes prolonged hospital stays. Falls can add an average of about 6.3 days to the hospital stay. The average cost for a fall with injury is about $14,000. OSS Health began taking a closer look at preventing falls in the summer of 2015.
In 2016, 14 patients fell at the OSS Orthopaedic Hospital. This was slightly more than the number of falls in 2015. OSS Health has been working with the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania on a project to prevent falls. We have also implemented a falls prevention team consisting of staff members from multiple departments. The team meets regularly to discuss falls and ways to prevent them. A goal was set to go 100 days without a fall, and that goal was achieved in February, 2017. View more information on preventing falls
Control Nausea after Surgery
No one likes to be nauseated. However, up to 30% of patients are nauseated after they receive anesthesia. Since patients who are admitted to OSS Health have had surgery this is important.
In the last 9 months of 2016, 27% of OSS Health patients were nauseated after surgery and required medications to feel better. This is better than average, but we made some improvements and continue to work to improve this. OSS Health has changed pain medication protocols and made medications to reduce nausea available to start more quickly. We are also encouraging patients to stay more hydrated prior to surgery.
Administering Influenza Vaccinations to Patients
Influenza (or the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, the most severe cases causing hospitalization or death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. OSS Health screens each patient who will be admitted to the OSS Hospital after surgery and if indicated, offers to provide the flu vaccine during “flu season”, which falls between October 1 and March 30 of each year.
Since the 2012 – 2013 flu season, OSS Health increased the percentage of patients who were offered the flu vaccine until we reached 100% in the 2014-2015 flu season. The Pennsylvania average was 96% and the national average was 94% for this season, so we exceeded those averages. Update: OSS Health encourages staff and patients to take the flu vaccine. In the 2016-17 flu season, only 1 patient was not asked about the flu vaccine.
Administering Influenza Vaccinations to Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers constantly come into contact with people who are at risk of complications from the flu. The best way for them to prevent either spreading or getting the flu is to get vaccinated each year. OSS Health requires their staff to receive the flu vaccine if they can tolerate it. As of the end of 2016, 89% of OSS staff have taken the flu vaccine. We continue to strive to increase this percentage. View more information on influenza vaccination
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Overall Hospital Ratings Results
CMS began using a star rating system to rate hospitals in April, 2015. The rating score is updated every three (3) months. OSS Health has achieved a 5 star overall rating in every rating period since the program began. Unfortunately, as of December, 2016, CMS changed its scoring process for this measure, and since OSS Health is a specialty hospital, this no longer applies to us. We are disappointed in this change because our scores continue to be excellent and under the old scoring system, we would have maintained our 5 star rating.
Patients who are admitted to the hospital may experience problems soon after they are discharged and need to be admitted to the hospital again. These events can often be prevented if hospitals follow best practices for treating patients. The main issue with readmission rates is to determine the reason for the readmission to see if it is related to the surgery or not. It is important for us to know this for purposes of quality and issues with the surgical procedure so we can continue to provide safe, high quality healthcare. More Information on Readmission Rates
OSS Health researches each patient who is readmitted to see if it was related to surgical complications. Typically, our patients are not readmitted for something related to their surgical procedures, but for another medical or surgical problem. We follow up with each patient after surgery, sometimes multiple times. Our readmission rates continue to be as good as or better than average.
Other Problems and Complications
Following are five measures that are tracked by CMS or the State of Pennsylvania.
- Complications in patients who had hip or knee replacement surgery View more information on complications hip or knee surgery
- Patients who develop a blood clot in their leg (DVT) or blood clot in their lung (pulmonary embolism or PE) View more information on blood clots
- Patients who develop a gastrointestinal infection called Clostridium Difficile or C. Diff View more Information on C Diff
- Patients who have to go back for a second unplanned surgery View more information on going back for unplanned surgery
- Patients who had to be transferred to another hospital for treatment of a cardiac or other serious medical event View more information on hospital transfers