Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: November 23, 2009
Moon Township, PA, (November 23, 2009) – Heritage Valley Health System was one of three local healthcare organizations honored as the second recipients of The Fine Awards on Tuesday evening, November 17, at Heinz Hall.
Sponsored by The Fine Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), The Fine Awards were established to draw attention to the critical role that teamwork plays in healthcare by recognizing local healthcare teams that have achieved breakthroughs in safe, effective patient care.
Heritage Valley Health System took home the Bronze Award for its process for improving intravenous drug procedures – reducing the leaking of certain drugs out of a vein and into the surrounding tissue. Such a leakage can damage not only the tissue but also the muscles, tendons and even the bone.
The team addressed the problem by developing a computer program utilizing Six Sigma methodologies that reduces the wait for patients to see an IV therapist about their treatment. As a result, the health system cut the wait from more than four days to one day.
St. Clair won the gold award for its initiative to improve patient flow through its emergency department, and the silver award went to UPMC St. Margaret for reducing readmissions for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“On behalf of our board, medical staff, nurses and employees, Heritage Valley is honored to have received the Bronze 2009 Fine Award,” said Norm Mitry, president and CEO of Heritage Valley Health System. “Beth Schoonmaker, director of patient safety and infection control at Heritage Valley, led a great team that utilized Six Sigma methodology to reduce vesicant drug extravasations. This distinguished honor further exemplifies the great work of this team, which also won the Patient Safety Achievement Award from the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) earlier this year.”