Infection rates continue to drop at UF Health Jacksonville

By: Kelly Gray-Eurom, M.D., M.M.M., FACEP

There is a lot of exciting engagement and energy surrounding quality at UF Health.

Downtown campus

On the inpatient side, teams of providers, house staff, nursing, ancillary personnel, Infection Control and Quality have made significant improvements across the entire facility. Overall morality, sepsis mortality, CAUTI, CLABSI, surgical site infections and pulmonary complications have decreased tremendously. Our efficiency in care, including length-of-stay and timely discharges, has improved greatly.

On the basis of the results of a pilot project, Case Management is now coordinating after-visit appointments for patients on three of the busiest hospital units. The goal is to expand this service to include the majority of our patients. The enthusiasm and willingness of UF faculty, residents and fellows to collaborate on solutions and participate in projects has been extremely impressive and has helped the hospital turn the corner on many of our quality metrics.

Ambulatory services

Dr. Christopher Scuderi and Rita James are leading a new Ambulatory Performance Improvement Committee. This group was formed to help bridge care and communication gaps that can occur when a patient transitions from inpatient care to outpatient care, and vice versa. This team is actively identifying the barriers and challenges to seamless transitions and is working on several projects, including the direct-admit process, pain management transitions, cross-collaboration in care management and enhancing the use of MyChart.

Many of our clinics have 50 percent of their patient population on MyChart, and 45 percent of our GatorCare patients use MyChart. This can be an extremely useful tool to enhance communication with our patients and provide better efficiencies for our providers. As an example, our surgical coordinators will soon be able to send an educational video about post-op pain via MyChart to patients being scheduled for surgery. This is the same video used in PAT, pre-op and in house for setting appropriate patient expectations. By using MyChart, education starts before the patient comes to the hospital so the educational points can be reinforced at multiple stages during the entirety of the patient encounter.

North campus

Teams are working to incorporate our successful quality programs into the campus care plans at UF Health North. Programs such as the enormously successful nursing-driven Foley de-cath protocol and the early sepsis notification system will be used to help ensure consistent quality care at both the north and downtown locations.

Public reports

Public reporting is challenging. No public report uses the same data time frames or the same definitions when reporting metrics. And most of them use data over a three-year time frame. In 2014, we had a lot of work to do on many of our quality metrics. As of 2017, we have made enormous strides in the right direction.

Sadly, this great work will not be reflected in many of the public reports until late 2018 and early 2019. It is good to know our past numbers, but we need to focus on our current numbers to continue the great work happening at our downtown hospital, the north campus and in our clinics. So don’t let the public numbers fool you. We are providing great quality for our patients.