Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 11 through 17. During this important time, Barton Health is celebrating all of its team members and the hard work they each do every day to make sure patient safety is always first. Hospitals are highly regulated to ensure safety measures including reducing infection, minimizing risks to patients, preventing readmission to the hospital after the patient goes home, and maintaining immunization rates to prevent the spread of disease. Barton Health continues to perform well against those measurements. Quality and safety are so incredibly important, we have many programs in place beyond what is mandated by the state of California.

People may think hospitals are risky places, and they're right. Barton Health is constantly evaluating operations to ensure each patient is safe and receiving high quality care. You might be interested to learn about some of the many safety programs currently taking place at Barton:

State and Industry Recognition for Safety

California Health and Human Services Agency recently recognized Barton Health as having one of the lowest 2017 C-section rates of birthing hospitals in California State. Reduced C-section rates mean more natural childbirths. Women who undergo vaginal birth have shorter hospital stays and avoid major surgery and its many risks. Barton Memorial Hospital is now recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care and shows expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes. This means increased safety for moms and babies.

Empowering Patients and Family Members

Condition H (Help) Program lets patients and family members call for immediate help if they feel the patient is not receiving adequate medical attention. The goal of the Condition H Program is to improve communications between families and caregivers and provide safeguards for families should communications break down.

To ensure patient care continues to be enhanced and improved, Barton hosts a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). PFAC recently worked to install a Family Care Kiosk, located at the in-patient surgery floor of Barton Memorial Hospital, across from the family waiting room. This kiosk provides educational information for families to understand how to best be involved with loved ones' care while in the hospital and once the patient returns home.

Above and Beyond Mandated Protocols

Barton Health Capnography Program was nationally recognized by the Society for Technology in Anesthesia and received an award for "Best Clinical Practice" because of continuous improvement in patient safety and high quality standards. The program uses state-of-the-art technology to measure patients' breathing during anesthesia and while recovering. The Barton Health Capnography Program improved the identification methods for at-risk patients, increased staff education on safety measures, and reduced risk of respiratory failure. Because of this program, the Barton Health rate of respiratory failure is significantly lower than the national average, resulting in better patient outcomes.

Acute care departments and in-patient departments at Barton Memorial Hospital now have a pneumonia-prevention program to educate patients on how to avoid respiratory infections. Best practices to minimize bacterial infections include elevated head levels for all hospital beds, providing tooth brushes to patients to promote decreased oral bacteria getting into the lungs, and educational information to empower patients while in the hospital.

Investing in Safety

Barton invests heavily in patient safety programs and equipment. The Barton Memorial Hospital MRI suite now has a magnetic threat detector at the entrance. This new device will detect metal objects inside of or being carried by the patient before entry into the MRI suite. The detector will prevent metal objects from becoming dangerous to patients and those around them.

All of these programs are designed to support an environment of optimal healing, as part of Barton Health's commitment to providing consistently exceptional care. The diligence of Barton's care providers has resulted in Barton being recognized as a top performing hospital by the state of California's Joint Commission.

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