Quality & Patient Safety

The concept of "quality" isn't new in healthcare but it is vitally important and something we strive to achieve every single day. Regulatory agencies and programs such as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Medicare Star Ratings, the Washington State Department of HealthThe Joint Commission (TJC) and others have monitored and surveyed healthcare quality activities with the goal of continually improving the reliability and safety of care provided.

Over the past decade, the focus on quality has been sharpened by the call to accountability through TJC's Agenda for Change, the Institute of Medicine's report on medical errors, the National Quality Forum's endorsed safe practices, the demand for value by healthcare purchasers, and the increasing understanding of the public we serve. Performance measures for healthcare have also expanded to include outcome measures such as patient satisfaction and cost as well as key clinical measures.

It is no surprise that the public's demand for quality in healthcare services (that which is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable) matches our mission, vision, and values. At Valley, we are working hard to improve clinical, service, and financial outcomes by collecting, trending and responding to performance measures and implementing/refining evidence-based practices. Initiatives include:

  • TJC Core Measures (acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and pregnancy indicators)
  • Washington statewide initiatives (Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program for PCI [percutaneous coronary interventions], Diabetes Collaborative)
  • Leapfrog Initiatives (National Patient Safety Goals, intensivists in critical care units, preoperative prophylactic antibiotic administration and beta-blocker prophylaxis for at-risk patients, deep venous thrombosis [DVT] prophylaxis)
  • Patient care services performance improvement (PCS PI) initiatives (patient safety, medication management, pain management, and discharge planning)
  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Staff and provider engagement surveys

At Valley, safety is a core value and providing quality care allows us to deliver the best possible outcomes and customer service for our community. Like our mission statement declares, we are committed to "caring for our community like family." We take this challenge very seriously.