Patient Safety and Quality at EMMC

At EMMC, we are always raising the bar on our performance regarding patient safety and quality of care we provide to our patients. That means we are working on initiatives and improvements that put us on pace with the best hospitals in the country. Whether it's working to eliminate preventable errors or aiming for 100 percent compliance with our standard for handwashing, EMMC employees are engaged and working to be the best we can be.

Avatar Solutions - Excellence in Patient Safety Award
In 2014, Eastern Maine Medical Center again received an Exceeding Patient Expectations award from Avatar Solutions, which gauges quality of care, reliability, and customization before patient visits. EMMC also received an Exemplary Service - Overall Best Performer award which goes to the top facilities with the highest overall combined score for inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory surgery.

Best Ranks for Falls and Bedsores
EMMC continually monitors patient falls and employs various any safety measures that ensure the safest conditions for patients while in our care. The Maine Health Management Coalition tiers hospitals by performance on a variety of patient safety indicators and ranked EMMC best for falls with injury. Learn more here

LifeWings - A Staff Driven Initiative
Since 2012, EMMC’s nurses, physicians, and clinical support staff have participated in revising processes to enhance patient safety with the help of the LifeWings program. This staff driven initiative allows participants to create new hardwired safety tools that enhance communication and information systems, and improve patient safety measures.

The Leapfrog Group - Top National Scores in Patient Safety
Safety is everyone’s job at EMMC. Since the program began in 2012, Eastern Maine Medical Center has earned an “A” Score in Hospital Safety Score from The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. This is the highest mark a hospital can receive, and the seventh consequtive top score since the survey began.

Medical Device Identified for FDA Recall by EMMC Staff
Cordis-Optease-Vena-Cava-Filter.jpgIt’s not often that the US Food and Drug Administration calls out a hospital for its contribution to the promotion of patient safety, but it happened in 2014 to Eastern Maine Medical Center. After a potential issue was discovered by a physician, EMMC staff investigated and confirmed an issue with the Cordis Optease Vena Cava Filter device. This medical device is inserted into a vein that returns blood to the heart from the legs. It catches blood clots so they do not move through the body and prevents a recurrent pulmonary embolism—a life threatening condition.

EMMC submitted a voluntary report to the FDA detailing the investigation carried out at the hospital, which included photographs of the product labeling. The FDA was then able to determine that the device had been mislabeled by the manufacturer and responded by issuing a Class 1 Recall, which removed the product from hospitals in the US, Canada, and Panama.

All hospitals are required by law to report medical device adverse events to the US Food and Drug Administration under the Safe Medical Devices Act. Since 2004, EMMC has taken its commitment to safety further by voluntarily reporting medical device issues before any injuries can occur as part of the FDA’s MedSun program, a step above the national standard. This advocacy is part of a culture of safety at EMMC and throughout EMHS that focuses on many measures that provide the highest quality healthcare for our patients.

The Joint Commission Names EMMC Top Performer in Quality
JointCommission_GoldSeal.pngIn 2011, EMMC was proud to be recognized as one of the nation's top performers on key quality measures by The Joint Commission, and one of only three hospitals in Maine to be named to The Joint Commission's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures list. The Joint Commission is the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.

To be acknowledged as a top performer on key quality measures, an organization must meet two 95 percent thresholds. EMMC was recognized for only achieving, but far exceeding, these threholds. EMMC achieved an overall composite score of 99 percent in all four clinical areas -- heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia care, and surgical care.

Results-Based Safety Award from VHA
In 2010, EMMC, as part of EMHS, earned the VHA Patient Safety Leadership Award--the only hospital system in the country to be recognized for results-based work on safety. This prestigious award acknowledges the ongoing efforts of EMHS hospitals--EMMC being the largest of those--to strive to become the best rural healthcare system in the nation.

Transforming Care at the Bedside - A Nurse Driven Initiative
EMMC nurses participate in Transforming Care at the Bedside, a collaborative sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.The goals of Transforming Care at the Bedside, are:

  1. improve the quality and safety of patient care on medical and surgical units,
  2. engage and improve the patient and family members' experience of care,
  3. improve the effectiveness of the entire care team,
  4. increase the vitality and retention of nurses.

Transforming Care at the Bedside originated from the understanding that hospital nurses have many ideas to improve patient care and their work environment, but making changes in a large institution can be time consuming and difficult. Transforming Care at the Bedside is designed to engage front-line staff in identifying barriers to quality patient care and then developing solutions to quickly overcome those problems.