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Focusing on Patient-Centered Care As Florida Celebrates Healthcare Quality Week

Governor Issues Proclamation

ORLANDO, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Americans seek improved healthcare quality and patient safety, one path patients, healthcare professionals and government officials agree upon is making healthcare more patient centered. Healthcare Quality Professionals are the frontline people in the healthcare industry who work to keep the quality focus on patients and their families, coordinating the demands of regulatory and accreditation issues with the need to keep patient care and needs at the forefront.

National Healthcare Quality Week, October 14-20, recognizes the work Healthcare Quality Professionals do to improve patient care, outcomes and healthcare delivery systems. We are honored the State of Florida has joined in this acknowledgment with a Governor's Proclamation recognizing the work Healthcare Quality Professionals in Florida do in improving patient care.

The Florida Association for Healthcare Quality, Florida's professional association for Healthcare Quality Professionals, is celebrating Healthcare Quality Week by sharing examples of healthcare initiatives from around Florida which have enhanced the focus on patient-centered care, improving both the patient experience and healthcare outcomes. These include:

  • Sarasota Memorial and Citrus Memorial hospitals have been recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for low readmission rates. Out of more than 4,600 hospitals in the nation, these Florida hospitals are the only two recognized for having the better than average readmission rates for all 3 conditions measured: heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. Patient centered care, including patient and family education, is a key element in reducing avoidable readmissions.
  • Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center was recognized for its outstanding performance excellence through receipt of the Governor's Sterling Award. Award recipients must undergo rigorous evaluation to demonstrate performance excellence in seven areas, including customer (patient) focus.
  • Flagler Hospital keeps the patient focus in its obstetrics unit via education classes which include grandparent and sibling courses and infant CPR, as well as breastfeeding education, preparation for childbirth, and support groups. They also formed a partnership with the St. Augustine YMCA to support the mother's health and wellbeing during pregnancy and after childbirth through a specialized exercise and wellness program.
  • Aventura, Kendall Regional and Mercy Hospitals host a Women's Night Out for breast cancer survivors, which combine make-up consultations, fashion and beauty tips for this condition with advice on nutrition and healthy cooking. This program shows sensitivity to the full needs of breast cancer survivors, and not just management of the cancer.
  • United Healthcare established the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation dedicated to facilitating access to medical-related services that have the potential to significantly enhance either the clinical condition or the quality of life of the child, and are not fully covered by the child's health plan. A medical grant is provided to pay for medical services not covered by health plans, so patient needs, and not finances, remain the center of medical decisions.
  • Transplant patients at Tampa General Hospital who aren't quite ready to go home, but don't need inpatient care, have a new place to live: two nearby houses the hospital purchased. The one-story, 3 bedroom houses are about a block from TGH, with one mere feet from the medical campus, keeping medical care close while helping the patient to transition to independent living.
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children holds an annual burn prevention campaign. This year's focus is on teaching children to "Be Burn Aware," especially at home. Information and materials pertaining to the effort can be found on the health care system's website dedicated to burn awareness and prevention, www.burnawareness.org. Preventive programs like this keep the wellbeing of the individual at the center of healthcare efforts.
  • The Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center has received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). The CoC created this award to recognize programs that strive for excellence in providing quality cancer care. CoC standards include a strong interdisciplinary approach, as well as focus on prevention, early diagnosis, optimal treatment, surveillance for recurrent disease, support services, and end-of-life care, covering the full range of patient needs and not just the immediate medical crisis.
  • FMQAI, the CMS Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Florida, is one of 14 QIOs selected by the Centers for Medicare &, Medicaid Services to participate in the Care Transitions project. FMQAI is spearheading the Integrated Care Communities project, which is helping different providers and healthcare organizations in a region to coordinate care of the patient across each health episode, to improve care transition practices. This helps to keep the entirety of the patient's condition and needs the focus of care by all providers.
  • Florida Hospital Celebration Health created an environment to promote healing in their Seaside Imaging Center. Sounds and smells of the ocean, game stations, murals, and a 3D undersea environment fill the waiting room and imaging center to help promote healing and reduce anxiety.
  • Lee Memorial Health System opened the Lee Physician Group Dunbar Clinic to provide primary care to high-risk patients. They were recognized national, in the category of Improving Population Health, by the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems for this exceptional work to help patients manage their chronic conditions.

Paulette McKernan, President of FAHQ, commented: "The Florida Association for Healthcare Quality is very proud of the accomplishments and work of our members. They show a true commitment to making healthcare more effective and more patient centered."

About FAHQ
The Florida Association for Healthcare Quality is committed to developing, supporting and promoting professional expertise in healthcare quality. Its membership represents all healthcare practice settings and professions, united in the common goal of advancing Florida's healthcare quality. For further information, visit FAHQ on the web at www.fahq.org.

SOURCE Florida Association for Healthcare Quality