Monday, December 19, 2011

Elk Regional Receives Excellent Department of Health Survey

Elk Regional Health Center has not only passed its bi-annual licensure inspection with flying colors but has also earned several compliments from a team of Pennsylvania Department of Health inspectors.

The inspectors performed a rigorous, three-day survey at the 80-bed facility between Dec. 5 and Dec. 7 and found that there were no direct patient care issues. 

During the exit conference, inspectors complimented Elk Regional on its commitment to cleanliness and patient safety in light of the ongoing construction and renovation project and cited the professionalism of Elk Regional’s staff.

“The inspectors also complimented Elk Regional on its commitment to quality patient care,” said Gregory P. Bauer, the President and CEO of Elk Regional Health System. “The results of this inspection are a testament to the commitment our employees and physicians show when it comes to providing quality care for our patients and residents.”

During the inspection, the surveyors carefully reviewed Elk Regional’s policies and procedures to ensure that they are being followed and are in compliance with state and federal regulations; examined medical records; toured the hospital’s departments; and interviewed staff members.

Inspectors cited Elk Regional for one minor paperwork deficiency related to the procedure used by physicians to enter medication protocols on patient records.

“Medication protocols are a written copy of the regimen of medication a physician has prescribed for a patient while they are admitted to the hospital,” said Matthew Romania, RN, the Director of Nursing at Elk Regional. “The protocol is a detailed record of the medication that is to be administered to a patient depending upon the symptoms present.”

Department of Health inspectors have asked that Elk Regional incorporate the written medication protocol into the electronic medical record system used by the hospital and its physician offices. The inspectors have also asked that Elk Regional’s physicians sign off on those medication protocols electronically.

“It is important to note that this change is not related to patient care, but is simply a different method of handling the paperwork associated with a patient’s stay,” Mr. Romania said.

A corrective action plan is already being discussed and will be implemented through the Health System’s Information Technology Department, Mr. Romania said. The corrective action plan will then be submitted to the Department of Health for approval.

Elk Regional Health System includes a fully-accredited, not-for-profit, 80-bed general acute care institution, an extended care facility, an independent living facility, a home health agency and an employed physician group that serves Elk and Cameron counties. The organization is backed by the strength of a clinical affiliation with UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pa. With campuses in St. Marys and Ridgway and physician offices in a number of locations throughout the region, Elk Regional proudly serves the residents of Elk and Cameron counties. It is Elk Regional’s ongoing mission to provide premier healthcare services to our patients through our commitments to service, quality, people, finance and growth, while maintaining economic viability and keeping an eye on the future. For more information, visit us online.