Jennifer N. Edwards
J. Edwards, Flowers Hospital: Nearing Perfection on Core Measures, The Commonwealth Fund, December 2008.
Flowers Hospital, a community hospital located in southeast Alabama, climbed from average to exemplary on process-of-care, or "core" measures, across four clinical areas—heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical infection prevention—in just two years. Flowers' quality department identifies patients early in their hospital stay and continuously monitors their progress and care. The approach involves five critical elements: identification of patients who experience heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, or have surgery at the beginning of their hospitalization, so that appropriate care can be provided in a timely manner; concurrent review provided by a nurse, who monitors each eligible patient to ensure care meets standards and intervenes as needed; tools for frontline staff, including resources to remind providers of evidence-based practices; quality improvement teams that review failures of compliance and modify care processes; and performance oversight conducted by team leaders in collaboration with the CEO.