Heritage Valley Sewickley Receives Highmark Quality Blue Award

Heritage Valley Sewickley was one of 91 participating hospitals in Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia in the Quality Blue Program. Heritage Valley was recognized for their outstanding quality improvement efforts and demonstrating better patient outcomes, at the Quality Blue Best Practices Forum, presented by Highmark on November 8, 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA.  

A venous thrombosis is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms within a vein. A classical venous thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can break off (embolize), and become a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE).

The award was presented for maintaining rates better than the aggregate rates for VTE prophylaxis compliance, providing warfarin discharge instructions to patients, and VTE events during hospitalization or within 30 days of discharge.  Heritage Valley Sewickley was recognized for demonstrating the highest percentage compliance for VTE prophylaxis (prevention of VTE) over the program year combined with the lowest rate for lower extremity VTE events.  While data that helped garner the award was collected from July 2012 to June 2013, interdepartmental teams have been meeting and developing new processes for many years.

“Our success is multi-factorial, including the development of a physician consensus statement regarding VTE prophylaxis, involvement of direct and indirect patient care staff, use of automated prompts in the electronic medical record and enhanced operational processes,” said John Luellen, M.D., Chief Quality Officer for Heritage Valley Health System.

“We really engaged staff in the process of using the electronic record to their advantage and educating care providers, as well as patients, about the importance of VTE prevention,” said Linda Homyk, Chief Nursing Officer at Heritage Valley Sewickley.  “The team members working on this project were:  Project Leader, Mark Harmanos, PharmD; Physician Champions, Alfred Doyle, MD and Richard Hogan, MD; Director of Utilization, JoAnn Hatton; Director of Pharmacy, Bridget Walker; and