RCH earns prestigious award

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AHOSKIE – Roanoke-Chowan Hospital was honored June 14 with an award from VHA, Inc. for infection control, quality, and patient safety.

Terri Bowersox, director of performance improvement for VHA’s Central Atlantic region, visited the hospital recently to present the award to hospital leaders. RCH is one of only 13 hospitals (out of 87 VHA member hospitals) on the east coast to receive this award.

“Hospitals across the nation would benefit from looking at Roanoke-Chowan’s performance on reducing hospital infections,” said Bowersox. “This achievement demonstrates strong leadership and teamwork by staff and physicians.”

Elaine Ayers, manager of infection control and safety, thanked the VHA for the recognition and for the opportunity to work with VHA on the MRSA project for the past three years.

“We have engaged physicians and staff who support policies, such as hand hygiene, to reduce infections and provide safe care,” said Ayers.

RCH has low rates of infections, including only one ‘foley-related’ urinary tract infection in the past year, and only one incidence of hospital-acquired MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

“We have not had a patient with a ‘central line’ bloodstream infection in over three years, and have not had a patient to have a ventilator-related pneumonia in almost four years,” explains Ayers. “Since May 2005 we have performed over 6000 MRSA Screens, and implement precautions to prevent the germ from being given to other patients.”

“We set a goal to be the best in the state,” says Ayers. “I do not think the Roanoke-Chowan community realizes what a safe hospital we have in this area. Clearly, we are a leader in the state of North Carolina and the nation for low infection rates.”

VHA Inc. is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations serving more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 28,000+ non-acute care providers nationwide.