National & State Initiatives

Walla Walla General Hospital utilizes several national benchmarking studies to ensure the quality of our patient care remains at the highest levels. Here are a few of the ways we chart our progress:

The Joint Commission Core Measures
The Joint Commission--our primary accrediting body--has identified Core Measures to evaluate the quality of hospital care. The more appropriate care a hospital provides for each of these conditons, the higher its rating. Elements in each category are based upon scientifically proven, evidence-based care. Four of these measures are applicable to Walla Walla General Hospital, Heart Attack Care, Heart Failure, Community Acquired Pneumonia and the Surgical Care Improvement Project.

The Institute of Healthcare Improvement
The IHI's national campaign to save lives involve process improvememnt projects--called bundles--focused on hospital acquired infections associated with surgery, ventilators and centrally placed IV lines. They have also focused on the treatment of heart attacks and the development of Rapid Response teams to assist with prevention of catastrophic events. WWGH has successfully implemented all of the IHI bundles. See bundle details here.

National Patient Safety Goals
The Joint Commission has identified areas where patient safety can be improved by application of evidence based care practices. The goals list is ongoing, with some goals being adopted as a standard practice, some going to regulatory bodies for monitoring, and new goals being added or expanded upon annually.

National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum is a not-for-profit organization created to develop and implement a national strategy for health care quality measurement and reporting. The National Quality Forum makes recommendations for improving health care quality by promoting practices to reduce the risk of harm to patients.

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.

Statewide Patient Safety Efforts

The Washington State Hospital Association is working hard to ensure patient care. As Walla Walla General Hospital works to improve quality and safety, we strive to go above and beyond the bare minimum. One of the ways we do that is by participating in these agressive statewide efforts to improve the quality of health care in Washington State.

Washington State Hospital Association Patient Safety Program
Walla Walla General Hospital is actively involved in the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) Patient Safety Program, which promotes safety through consistency and standardization. WWGH has fully implemented all three standardization projects: Emergency Code Calls, Isolation Precaution Signage, and Wristbands.

In Safe Hands Initiative
Washington Hospital’s In Safe Hands Initiative has set a goal to eliminate hospital-acquired infections by 2012. We have aggressively implemented processes and continuously report the results to our staff, leaders, governing board and state regarding hospital acquired Central Line Infections, Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections, and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Surgical Checklist
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are encouraging the use of a common surgical safety checklist for all surgeries. The New England Journal of Medicine reported on January 14, 2009 that: "Introduction of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist into operating rooms in eight diverse hospitals was associated with marked improvements in surgical outcomes. Postoperative complication rates fell by 36% on average, and death rates fell by a similar amount."

Flu Immunization
We strongly encourage all of our health care workers to receive the Flu Immunization each year, and through improved processes and education we continue to see increased compliance among our staff and physicians.

A chart with additional information about the hospitals in Washington state can be found at the WSHA website.