MWHC Launches Blood Culture Contamination Improvement Project
False positive blood culture rates lead to increased hospital stays, unnecessary
antibiotic use, and increased treatment costs. Our team aimed to decrease
and sustain the contamination rate below 3%. As part of their improvements,
phlebotomists were tested; false positive rates were monitored monthly;
star performers were identified to mentor peers; and phlebotomists with
contamination rates above 3% were observed and retrained. Over the past
year, the blood culture contamination rate has decreased from 5.13% to
2.54%. This equates to a cost savings of $1,394,109.
Rappahannock Health Connect Improves Access to Records, Communication with Providers
In July 2014, Mary Washington Healthcare, in partnership with healthcare
providers in our community, embarked on creating comprehensive community
health records that provide complete patient care data. Rappahannock Health
Connect, or Health Connect for short, is an initiative that makes it easier
for physicians, clinicians, and patients to have a more complete view
of the patient’s medical information, enabling more coordinated,
high-quality, and efficient care.
This community-driven model was designed with many partners in mind and
allows us to meet federal regulations regarding electronic health records
and patients’ access to those records according to Meaningful Use
Health Connect has two portals: one for physicians and clinicians and one
for patients. The Clinical Portal is a central point for healthcare providers
to access patient information from recent care provided by MWHC. For example,
participating providers may securely send messages to patients and other
participating physicians, access hospital discharge summaries, medication
lists, and laboratory data from MWHC, and receive automatic notifications
of emergency department visits, admissions, and discharges.
The Patient Portal is a Web-based platform providing patients and patient
representatives with secure access to personal health records, improving
patients’ engagement in their care, and empowering them to better
manage their health.
Patients may view records of recent visits, discharge summaries, medications,
immunizations, allergies, and lab results. They can send secure messages
to request appointments and prescription refills from their providers.
They may download, view, or share health information with their providers
and patient representatives. Patients may also view activity logs to monitor
who is viewing, downloading, and transmitting their health information.