JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Washington County Memorial Hospital, a critical access hospital in Potosi, Mo., has been recognized with the Missouri Hospital Association’s Aim for Excellence Award. The award recognizes progress toward the Triple Aim — better health, improved care and lower cost. This year’s award, announced at MHA’s 100th Annual Convention, recognizes WCMH’s rapid and organization-wide response to rethink care processes while maintaining or improving value-centered care quality.
“Change is both hard and transformational — especially for small hospitals,” said Jon D. Doolittle, MHA President and CEO. “The value of what was accomplished at Washington County Memorial Hospital is visible in the quality score results. However, their efforts are more powerful because they are sustainable for the hospital and transferrable to similar hospitals in Missouri and elsewhere.”
A video highlighting the hospitals’ achievements is available here.
WCMH faced profound staffing and financial challenges during the pandemic. To improve value for patients, and increase short- and long-term operational sustainability, the hospital identified an urgent need for a community care delivery model.
The model included several components. To address staffing supply and demand disparities, WCMH implemented remote telemonitoring, monitored and measured quality improvement data, and established 24/7 on-site hospitalist coverage. To release additional pressure on staffing, the hospital bolstered relationships with neighboring higher education facilities. The short-term goal was to manage the demand for staff to support behavioral health patients being boarded because of a lack of transfer capacity. In the long term, the engagement was designed to establish a student tech recruitment model that enriches the regional labor pool.
Using these innovative monitoring and staffing systems, the hospital was able to relieve pressure on the incumbent workforce and increase staff resilience, use technology to support care improvement, and ensure meticulous stewardship in improvement measures. Despite the significant changes, quality measures either were stable or improved after the model was adopted.
Established in 2016, the annual Aim for Excellence Award recognizes Missouri hospitals’ innovation and outcomes. In addition to honoring and recognizing achievement, the award contributes to dissemination of successful models, motivates innovation, promotes publication, and supports application to nationally based grants and awards.
The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 140 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.
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