Three Wellmont Health System hospitals are among 76 Tennessee hospitals recognized by the federal government for improving the quality of care provided to Medicare patients.

Bristol Regional Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center and Hawkins County Memorial Hospital were participants in a multi-year, voluntary statewide effort to improve patient care through the use of performance improvement projects. A report released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows the participating 76 Tennessee hospitals made broad improvements in the treatment of major illnesses and chronic conditions affecting Medicare beneficiaries from 1998 to 2001.

The hospitals’ performance improvement efforts focused on 22 clinical quality indicators such as flu and pneumonia screening, regular blood sugar testing for diabetes and mammogram screening for breast cancer.

QSource, a not-for-profit quality improvement organization headquartered in Memphis, and the Tennessee Hospital Association spearheaded the project.

“Certainly, we’re pleased to have been a part of this statewide focus on healthcare quality improvement,” said Dale Sargent, MD, Wellmont’s executive vice president of medical affairs. “But all of our hospitals, including those in Virginia, were engaging in these performance improvement activities before this project ever began.

“We regularly monitor our performance, and we’ve put in place clinical pathways and multidisciplinary teams to continuously improve and refine our healthcare delivery processes.”

Evidencing Wellmont’s commitment to quality is the health system’s recognition as a two-time Tennessee Quality Award Quality Achievement Award winner in 2001 and 2002.


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