At Williamson Medical Center, patient safety is always our top priority. Just ask anyone who cares for patients in the Critical Care Unit where it’s been 41 months since a CCU patient experienced a ventilator-associated event. That’s nearly three and a half years — and counting.
As reports of hospital-acquired infections continue to plague health systems across the country, team members in WMC’s CCU, Respiratory Therapy and Physical/Occupational Therapy have adopted and embraced a “zero harm” approach to protect critical care patients when they’re most vulnerable.
“What this accomplishment shows is that our staff members do everything they can to keep our patients safe and provide the best outcomes,” said Lori Orme, RN, chief nursing officer. “Patients and their families shouldn’t have to worry about being exposed to events with the potential for harm when they come to a hospital.”
The term ventilator-associated event was coined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of an ongoing effort to curb the growing trend. One of the most common types of VAE is ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Physical therapist Kristin Story, PT, DPT, CCS, said teamwork combined with properly positioning patients in the earliest stage have been key components in eliminating ventilator-associated events at Williamson Medical Center.
She also credits a lot of the success to the nursing staff for initiating several safety protocols including PROM (passive range of motion), stretching to prevent stiffness, turning the patient to prevent skin breakdown, and weaning sedation to help the patient wake up.
“Advocating early mobility for our patients has become an important role of the team,” Story said. “When the team works together to assist a patient to sit on the edge of the bed while on a ventilator, it creates a positive and rewarding experience for all. It is a great accomplishment that takes quite a bit of coordinating, but in the end, provides quality patient care.”Share this Article