Mercy Hospital Hot Springs (St. Joseph's Mercy) and Mercy Clinic have been honored in the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care's (AFMC) annual Quality Awards program.
The Quality Awards are designed to recognize improvement in individual health care organizations' performance in AFMC's quality improvement projects.
Mercy Hot Springs received a Quality Award for its participation in Project JOINTS, a national program designed to prevent surgical site infections in patients undergoing hip and knee arthroplasty.
Mercy Hot Springs is the first hospital in the nation to receive the "Exemplar" distinction. Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Project JOINTS initiative is a federally-funded program designed to speed adoption of proven methods to prevent surgical site infections (SSIs) after hip and knee replacement surgery. Arkansas is one of five states participating in the first stage of this three-year project, which stands for Joining Organizations IN Tackling SSI.
"We teamed with our doctors and set up a program where the patient comes in for a class a week before they come in for their procedure," said Teresa Lambert, executive director at Mercy Hot Springs. "What we've found is when we educate the patients and they know what to expect, we have better outcomes. They know exactly what to expect when they're here and exactly what's expected with them."
The award was presented by Dr. Janice S. Wright to Lambert and Mercy Hospital COO Brenda Chase.
Mercy Clinic received a Gold Award in the Physician Office Team category. The Gold Award is given to physician offices that satisfy three of the four physician office award criteria, which are: adoption of health information technology, adoption and utilization of population and care management methods, commitment and participation in data reporting quality initiatives and improvement in nationally recognized clinical quality measures.
Dr. Wright presented this award to Mercy Clinic's Jennifer Thompson and Susan Spicher.
Mercy Hot Springs has 27 medical clinics and has served the health care needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888. It is designated as the southwest region's only Level II Trauma Center and the region's most preferred provider of health care services.
On April 23 Capella Healthcare, parent of National Park Medical Center, and Mercy Health, sponsors of St. Joseph's Mercy Health System, signed an Agreement in Principle that contemplates transferring ownership of St. Joseph's Mercy to Capella and allows the two organizations to engage in exclusive negotiations toward a definitive agreement.
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually.