HMC's NICU places in VHA Georgia Leadership awards

Thursday, September 25, 2014

 From left are Angie Hart, RN; Andrea Griffith, RN; Terri Woodruff, clinical manager; and Melinda Edgeman, Women’s Services director. 
 From left are Angie Hart, RN; Andrea Griffith, RN; Terri Woodruff, clinical manager; and Melinda Edgeman, Women’s Services director.

DALTON, Ga. – Hamilton Medical Center (HMC) recently received a second-place VHA Leadership Award (150 to 349-bed category) for its presentation titled “NICU Multidisciplinary Rounds.” The award was given at the 2014 Leadership Expo in September.

The event included education, networking and leading practice sharing that focused on identifying techniques for managing and thriving in a changing health care environment, achieving triple-aim goals and reducing variability in care.

Participants were able to view more than 60 member best practice posters and more than 70 vendor products and services. The event culminated a six-month process of collecting applications from member hospitals and an extensive peer review evaluation to select winners that participated in VHA Georgia’s 2014 Leadership Awards Program.

In 2012, HMC’s Level II nursery advanced to a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), advancing the complexity of care of local patients. Level III NICU patients have prolonged, complicated medical care requiring many departments to contribute to care decisions. To enhance communication between caregivers who take care of the patients and between caregivers and family members, as well as maximize coordination of quality care, HMC’s NICU implemented multidisciplinary rounds.

Simultaneous rounds on each infant in the NICU were completed once weekly to discuss the plan for the day and the plan for the stay including each of the disciplines involved in care of a NICU patient. The disciplines included: neonatology, nursing, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, lactation consultation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, case management, infection prevention, laboratory, spiritual support, nutrition, clinical nursing support and management.

Participation from the many professional disciplines was key to the success of this initiative,” said Terri Woodruff, NICU clinical manager. “In addition to improved teamwork, parent participation in care has improved.”

Evidence-based research supports multidisciplinary rounds as a method of enhanced communication and connection for all involved to ensure the highest quality of care for a NICU patient.

VHA Georgia, Inc. is a membership alliance for not-for-profit health care providers that exists to ensure the success of not-for-profit health care by providing synergistic services, information exchanges and collaborative initiatives that help our member organizations meet the growing challenges of service to their communities.