Meritus Health Receives Two Top Patient Safety Innovation Awards

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Meritus Health was just named Circle of Honor Winner for two 2020 Minogue Awards for Patient Safety Innovation from the Maryland Patient Safety Center.

“Two of the top eight Circle of Honor winners are programs at Meritus Health, which is an outstanding honor for all of the hard work so many people came together and put into these efforts,” says Carrie Adams, Pharm. D., chief quality/transformation officer.

“Lean Daily Management through Leadership Rounds” was one program selected for a top honor from more than 70 submissions. Launched in 2016, “rounding” brings hospital executives and directors on to patient units twice a week. There, five-minute meetings allow staff members to discuss patient specific safety goals and challenges and give leaders the opportunity to “coach” by offering suggestions or solutions.

“As a result of this work, patient experience scores have gone up; and times in the emergency department between patients arriving and being admitted to the hospital or departing from the hospital have decreased,” says Adams.

Also awarded was the “Mothers as Medicine: An Innovative Approach to Care for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome” program, which began in 2018. Babies born with NAS, a group of conditions caused when a baby withdraws from certain drugs he/she was exposed to before birth, have a unique set of needs. In the Meritus Health program, these special needs babies are placed in the pediatric unit in the same room as their mothers after delivery rather than in the special care nursery. There, mothers learn safe ways to soothe and nurture their babies during withdraw. This important time together has shown improvement in the health of both mothers and babies.

“In fact, since the program began, the number of our newborns requiring medication to help with withdraw has significantly decreased, as has their amount of time spent in the hospital,” says Carol Grove, associate chief nursing officer who helped launch the program. “It’s really been a positive model of care.”

“In your career, you do some things because it’s the right thing to do, giving it your all and trying your hardest,” says Grove. “From its inception, this program was something I felt very passionate about and it’s a privilege to be part of the team being recognized for this work.”