Quality Management a multi-pronged effort

By U.S. ArmyJuly 8, 2019

Elizabeth Fraley, RN, MSN

Clinical Quality Management Department

Eisenhower Army Medical Center

The Clinical Quality Management Program, commonly referred to as QM, continuously and objectively assesses key aspects of individual and institutional performance with the intent of improving health care and services. At Eisenhower Army Medical Center, QM is comprised of five programs designed to support the mission of providing top quality. The programs include Credentials and Privileging, Patient Safety, Risk Management, Performance Improvement and Joint Commission.

The Credentials and Privileging program ensures providers are qualified and prepared to offer 5-Star health care to Soldiers and beneficiaries. This is accomplished by ensuring providers practice within the scope of experience, training and competence. Ann Rainey, the Credentials manager said, "the Credentials Office is responsible for prime source verifying the credentials of all providers". She said their credentials include, but is not limited to license, education, training and malpractice insurance.

"The Credentials Office," said Rainey, "strives to maximize patient safety and risk management by ensuring all practitioners assigned to EAMC are qualified by reason of their education, licensure, certifications, health status and competency in accordance with policies and procedures."

The patient Safety program focuses on harm prevention and reduction. This is accomplished through a variety of methods with the ultimate goal of zero harm. A strong culture of safety with the intent of eliminating preventable errors is fostered by actively engaging staff in the creation of resolutions to safety concerns, providing appropriate education and developing evidence-based safe practices.

"Leader engagement, collaboration, trust, transparency and communication are all essential in creating a safer patient environment," Alice Register, the Patient Safety coordinator, said.

Risk Management is a health-care support program that involves a variety of activities designed to prevent the loss of human, materiel or financial resources, and to limit the negative consequences of adverse events that occur in a health-care setting. The Risk Management program identifies opportunities for risk reduction and performance improvement.

"Deliberate coordination of efforts and purposeful communication between individuals involved in caring for patients provides the framework for a solid Risk Management program," said Regina Blakely, the Risk Manager. "Providing an ongoing risk reduction program is a commitment of excellence to beneficiaries and to the Augusta community."

Cynthia McElroy, the Joint Commission Officer for the hospital, strives to continuously improve health care for patients by inspiring Eisenhower staff to excel in providing safe and effective care.

"This care does not only apply to patients but to staff and visitors as well," McElroy said. "The Joint Commission establishes guidelines -- referred to as standards and elements of performance -- to aid health care organizations in achieving the type of 5-Star hospital for beneficiaries and employees."

The Quality Management team provides up-to-date information and guidelines to ensure patients are receiving prompt, safe, evidence-based care in all areas of the hospital.

--- 30 ---