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Good Samaritan Leads State in Pneumonia Care

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Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (GSRMC) is a leader in treating patients who are admitted for pneumonia. When these patients go home, they are far less likely to need another immediate hospital stay.

In a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), GSRMC’s rate of re-admission for pneumonia was significantly lower than the national average. The ratings cover re-admissions within 30 days of discharge from the initial hospital stay.

GSRMC is the only hospital in Oregon, and one of only 61 hospitals nationwide, whose pneumonia readmission rate is significantly better than the national average. Hospital officials credit this achievement to teamwork across every patient care department.

“The hospitalist services throughout SHS have standardized pneumonia therapy through consistent ordering procedures,” said Barry Smith, MD, director of inpatient care services for the hospital. Smith pointed to the hospitalists’ work with each hospital team – including Nutrition Services, Pharmacy, Case Management, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Rehabilitation and Social Services – to provide the best care possible.

Smith specifically mentioned the Pharmacy and Infectious Disease teams, which continue to update the protocols for antibiotic use as new studies show what treatments work best for the different types of pneumonia.

“We also have a standardized risk assessment score that is applied to every patient admitted to the hospital,” Smith continued. “This score can indicate those patients at highest risk for re-admission and which patients then need extra focus and resources when we send them home. This is our philosophy for all patients, so pneumonia care improves as well.”

In addition:

  • The hospital’s Nutrition Services dietitians screen patients for malnutrition, and they follow up with the patient after discharge.
  • The Palliative (or Supportive) Care team works on goals with patients who are elderly or have other health conditions. The care team develops a care plan for each of these patients to meet their expectations and needs, with the goal of continuing to recover at home.
  • The Pharmacy team sends the patient home with a month’s supply of prescribed medications.
  • The hospital has developed a Home Transitions team that works with patients at risk of needing to be re-admitted. The team provides in-home education to the patient, makes sure the patient has the necessary medications and helps coordinate follow-up care at no cost to the patient.

In the overall CMS ratings, GSRMC earned four out of five stars. The hospital did better than the national average for re-admissions generally, as well as safety of care.