Letter: AVH stands by its record | AspenTimes.com

Letter: AVH stands by its record

Aspen hospital stands by its record

There are many things I am proud of at Aspen Valley Hospital; one of them is the quality of care provided by our staff. As the chief clinical officer, I am in a position to objectively evaluate care and influence actions that will improve the care of our patients. I take that job seriously and assure you that at AVH, we are constantly striving to improve.

Among other things, we voluntarily participate in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), have an active Quality Council comprised of clinicians and administrators, and place quality at the top of every clinical operations meeting agenda. We carefully monitor nationally prescribed patient safety goals.

Earlier this year, AVH was recognized by the Colorado Hospital Association for its accomplishments in a national initiative called the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). HEN focuses on what have been identified as the top 11 “preventable harms” in hospitals. AVH was asked to present at two state-wide web conferences because of our approach and outcomes.

In each of the following categories, AVH experienced an incidence of zero in 2013: Adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central-line associated blood stream infections, early elective deliveries, birth trauma, falls with injury, pressure ulcers, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

In the categories of blood clots (venous thrombolytic events) and surgical site infections, AVH had below 1 percent incidence. In both categories, there is an inherent risk to patients due to the nature of their conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is a one in 20 chance for a surgical site infection in a hospital. At AVH, our goal is set not at the national standard of 5 percent, but at a much lower rate of 2 percent, which we have consistently achieved. In the category of readmissions, our rate is at 1.3 percent, compared to the national average of 20 percent.

Finally, it is important to note that the most recent HCAHPS data places AVH among the highest ratings in the nation.

I would ask that you not accept as fact what you may read or hear from unreliable, uninformed sources. I would be happy to discuss quality, patient safety, and all of the AVH initiatives with any member of the community. Thank you.

Elaine Gerson

Chief clinical officer, Aspen Valley Hospital