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CKMC excels in patient-care project
biz mlee CKMC patient care
Kelley Newsom, RN and infection-control coordinator, left, and Heather Hicks, RN and nurse reviewer, display the recognition certificate awarded to Central Kansas Medical Center. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Central Kansas Medical Center employees decided they were going to do it. And they did it.

A recent recognition from the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care proves that CKMC has made substantial strides in improving patient care, said Heather Hicks, RN and nurse reviewer.

The hospital is voluntarily participating in a KFMC project that’s goal is to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes.

"The KFMC recently recognized CKMC for our great results," Hicks said. "This recognition is gratifying to all of us. We stuck together and communicated well with each other. We have an honest desire to give the best care and to use KFMC resources to reach that goal."

The project measures nine categories. CKMC scored 100 percent in heart-failure medications; starting and stopping antibiotics at the appropriate times for surgical patients; and starting heart medication at the right time before surgery.

"CKMC achieved 80 percent or greater in all nine categories," Hicks noted. "We were also second most improved in two categories and most improved in another."

CKMC is one of 12 Kansas hospitals of all sizes that volunteered to join this project. The categories concentrate on preventing infection and complications, and avoiding re-hospitalizations.

"We appreciate the KFMC for sharing its information now, especially since this is an ongoing project," Hicks said. "It is difficult to know exactly how you are doing when statistics can take time to compile.

"They wanted to recognize us to provide encouragement," she added. "In essence, they were saying ‘look how far you have come. Keep up the good work. It is paying off.’"

Leilani Schenkel, CKMC chief operating officer, also offered encouragement to those participating in this team effort.

"CKMC has truly gained momentum in quality since the project started," Schenkel said. "This recognition from KFMC reflects our commitment to quality and safety, and positive patient outcomes.

"It also shows our nurses and physicians are focused on quality and take this project very seriously," Schenkel added. "This is just one more way for us to assure the community that the patient comes first."

The KFMC is a quality improvement organization based in Topeka. Its major contracts are with the Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Kansas Health Policy Authority. It also contracts with private companies.