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St. Luke’s Recognized with Idaho Quality Awards from Qualis Health

 St. Luke's Health System received two Idaho Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality from Qualis Health and one honorable mention at the 2014 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference. The awards recognize organizations for efforts to improve patient safety, improve care and lower costs.
By Ken Dey, Notes and Announcements
April 4, 2014

Boise, IDAHO – St. Luke’s received two Idaho Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality from Qualis Health, one of the nation's leading healthcare consulting and care management organizations, at the 2014 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference held in Boise Thursday, April 3.

The awards recognized hospitals and health systems for achievements in improving healthcare quality and outcomes in 2013.  St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital and St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center both received Awards of Excellence for programs the hospitals had implemented to improve patient outcomes and reduce infections.

Staff from St. Luke's Children's Hospital show off their Qualis Award of Excellence for reducing central line associated bloodstream infections.

St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center also received an honorable mention for an effort to increase patient mobility in the intensive care setting.

"Efforts to improve healthcare quality and value are an intense focus across the nation. With today's awards, we celebrate Idaho organizations that have committed to transforming healthcare delivery for their patients, families and communities," said Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Qualis Health. "The work being done here in Idaho reflects successful efforts to simultaneously improve care and lower cost."

St. Luke’s Children’s was recognized for its effort at reducing the number of central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in its hematology/oncology patient population. Infections are often devastating and costly events for patients and pediatric patients are even at more risk for serious complications caused by infections. To reduce CLABSI infections, the hospital introduced a grouping of best practices that individually improved care, but when combined provided even greater improvement. Staff members and physicians consistently implemented the best practice efforts. Families were also involved in the effort and have been empowered to speak up if they do not see a best practice being followed. The effort at providing a standardized bundle of care has had a significant impact Prior to implementing this the longest amount of time between CLABSI infections was 268 days, but since August 2012, there have been more than 600 days without an infection.  The effort at St. Luke’s Children’s has spread to other departments within St. Luke’s Health System.

Staff from St. Luke's Magic Valley pose with their Qualis Award of Excellence development of an antimicrobial stewardship program also know as the "Bug Squad".

St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center was recognized for its development of an antimicrobial stewardship program also known as the “Bug Squad.” The function of the multidisciplinary effort is to review antibiotic usage for appropriateness and to avoid misuse of antibiotics.  The Bug Squad also reviews sepsis cases and other infectious trends in the hospital with the goal of optimizing patient outcomes, reducing costs and complications, and to monitor and manage antimicrobial resistant bacterial strains. This effort allows for the adjustment to antibiotics to ensure appropriate use. This has improved patient outcomes, reduced costs and helped lower the amount of multidrug resistant organisms.  As a result of these efforts, the Bug Squad estimates that they have saved more than $830,000 in fiscal year 2013.

St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center received an honorable mention for its ICU mobility program, which strives to get patients up and moving while still on a ventilator. The effort has shown to improve outcomes and reduce the time a patient must spend in the ICU.

Since 2002, Qualis Health has presented the annual Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality to outstanding organizations in Idaho. Winners demonstrate leadership and innovation.

Staff from St. Luke's Boise Medical Center pose with their honorable mention award from Qualis for its ICU mobility program.

in improving healthcare practices, reflecting the very best in healthcare quality improvement. The awards recognize those who demonstrate outcomes to the three broad aims outlined in the National Quality Strategy:

• Better healthcare (for individuals)

• Better health (for populations)

• Reduced costs through improvement

Winners of the 2014 Idaho Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality in Idaho are selected by a panel of Idaho expert stakeholders. Awards are presented at the Idaho Annual Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference on April 3, 2014.

About Qualis Health

Qualis Health is a national leader in improving care delivery and patient outcomes, working with clients throughout the public and private sector to advance the quality, efficiency and value of healthcare for millions of Americans every day. In Idaho, Qualis Health serves as the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) and provides case management and utilization management services to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Medicaid. For more information, visit     

About The Author

Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.