Effingham Health System Wins Statewide Patient Safety Award for Enhancing Access to Care

ATLANTA – The Georgia Hospital Association Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA) presented its prestigious Patient Safety and Quality Award to Effingham Health System in Springfield for its project that improved the process by which patients are seen by a provider and discharged from the emergency department. The project, titled, “Enhancing Patient Safety by Prioritizing Emergency Department Throughout,” won first place in the Critical Access Hospitals category.

These annual awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.

“Patients arriving at a hospital emergency department expect prompt and efficient care,” said Georgia Hospital Association President and CEO Earl Rogers. “We applaud Effingham Health System for improving their emergency department care process and for ensuring high-quality care for these patients.”

Circle of Excellence Award for Ongoing Achievement

The hospital was also presented with a Circle of Excellence Award, an honor given to hospitals and health systems that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to quality and patient safety as evidenced by not only winning a patient safety award in 2020 but by earning three or more PHA Patient Safety Awards within the previous five years. Effingham Health System has received four patient safety awards in that period.

Enhancing Patient Safety by Prioritizing Emergency Department Throughout

The aim of this project was to decrease the length of time between when a patient presents to the emergency department (ED) and when they are evaluated by a clinician as well as to reduce the percentage of patients who leave the ED without being seen (LWBS) by a provider.

As a result of the project, the LWBS rate of our facility reduced from 2.62% in 2019 to 1.16% in 2020 year-to-date, a 55% decrease. In addition, the door-to-triage time in the ED saw a reduction of 33% during the same time period. With these reductions in LWBS rate and door-to-triage time also came a significant increase in patient satisfaction. In addition to the reduction noted, the organization saw an increase from an average of the 37th percentile Press Ganey ranking in patient satisfaction to the 67th percentile ranking with a 90% overall mean satisfaction score.

About PHA

The Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA), an affiliate of GHA, was established in January 2000 to improve patient care and patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities and create healthy communities.

About GHA

Founded in 1929, GHA serves more than 170 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia’s citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association. For more information, please call 770-249-4500 or visit gha.org.