Southern Ohio Medical Center has been acknowledged in a national publication for its success with a program that brings intensive care to patients outside the Intensive Care Unit.
Since September 2005, SOMC has deployed Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) to respond to calls from staff members concerned about patients outside ICU who show signs of failing health. The program was recently recognized for its outstanding work in the February issue of the Voluntary Hospital Associations’ national newsletter.
Christie Aeh, nurse manger of the ICU, says the RRT program at SOMC is similar to those in other area hospitals. However, SOMC’s outcomes are very unique, exceeding those of other hospitals in the state.
“It’s quite an honor to be held so highly among other hospitals,” Aeh said. “The program has worked so well for us and our patients and we hope to further improve upon its effectiveness far into the future.”
Each RRT consists of ICU nurses and a respiratory therapist on-call 24 hours. When a staff member becomes concerned about a patient’s condition due to changes such as rapid heart rate or lowered blood pressure, the RRT is called to intervene.
Upon arrival, the RRT receives a bedside report from the receiving unit and evaluates the patient. The team then collaborates with the department nurse and supervisor to determine the best treatment options for the patient.
SOMC’s program was created as part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Save 100,000 Lives” campaign.
“Rapid Response Teams provide staff with the necessary resources to seek immediate help when handling patients who may be showing signs of deterioration, often determining the difference between life and death,” Mamie Snook, clinical nurse specialist for Heart and Vascular Services at SOMC, said. “Because of this, the RRT program has proven to be very beneficial to our hospital and patients.”
“In a nutshell, RRT brings the Intensive Care Unit to the bedside of any patient anywhere within the hospital,” Dr. Elie Saab, medical director of the ICU, said.
“The RRT is helpful because it provides nurses and other hospital staff with a group of clinicians who can be called at any time to give critical care expertise,” Amy Carter, assistant nurse manager of the ICU, said. “Many times, nurses know when something isn’t quite right with their patients, and these teams allow us to act ahead of time before conditions can decline.”
SOMC also has been participating in the VHA’s database, which tracks the effectiveness of a hospital’s RRTs, and has been recommended as a mentor hospital for the RRT model.
Norman Jacobs, MD, MS, diagnostic radiologist at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has earned Level 2 certification in Cardiovascular Computerized Tomography Angiography (CTA) from the Society of Cardiovascular Computer Tomography (SCCT).
Dr. Jacobs’ certification is part of SOMC’s ongoing commitment to bringing the latest effective diagnostic imaging procedures and technology to the community. The SCCT is a professional medical membership organization committed to the further development of cardiovascular computer tomography through education, training, accreditation, quality control, and research.
Level 2 certification reflects extensive training in administering and reviewing computerized imaging of the heart and surrounding vessels for diagnosis of medical conditions.
Dr. Jacobs received his medical degree from Temple University Medical School and completed his training at Duke University Medical Center and Georgetown University Medical Center. He has been in practice as a radiologist in the Portsmouth area for the past 20 years.
For the second consecutive year, Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Ohio.”
“This confirms that our family atmosphere of caring for our patients as well as each other has made us a great place to work,” Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at SOMC, said.
The awards are presented by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Society for Human Resource Management. Data was collected and ranked by the company ModernThink.
The distinction was given based on an evaluation of workplace camaraderie, fairness, credibility, pride and respect but most importantly the thoughts and opinions of the employees of SOMC. SOMC was evaluated against various organizations statewide including large corporations and other healthcare organizations.
“This is quite an honor for our organization,” SOMC President Randy Arnett said. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in the state of Ohio.”
Arnett said the distinction will not only emanate pride to our community through employees, but will also help with recruitment and retention.
“People want to be a part of something great. This distinction will be a way to show those seeking employment, that SOMC is the place to be,” he said.
In the next few weeks, SOMC will receive a feedback report and the ranking of the organization based on data accumulated from the evaluation process. Arnett said SOMC is always searching for methods of gathering information to make adjustments and improvements in work life.
“Listening to our employees is important. Based on feedback from various venues such as the employee opinion survey and distinctions such as this, we have made changes to our organization that will continue to make SOMC a great place to work and receive quality health care. We will continue to listen and learn from those who make the greatest impact on our organization – our SOMC team,” Noel said.
The official ranking of SOMC on the Best Employers in Ohio list will be revealed during an awards ceremony on April 24 in Columbus. SOMC was number three on the list in 2006.