Quality & Safety

Our commitment to quality and patient safety.

Infection Control

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Infection Control Program is a hospital-wide program that meets the standards and requirements of the Joint Commission, Center for Disease Control and State and Federal Agencies. The central concern of our infection control program is the patient. Annual flu immunizations are offered to all inpatients during influenza season and pneumonia vaccine is offered year round when medically indicated.

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital has exceptionally low infection rates and continually strives to reduce rates to the lowest possible level.

Please refer to the following links for specific statistics
on our hospital (www.ct.gov and www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov).

Nosocomial Infections

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital has embarked on multiple initiatives within the organization, and with partners outside of our walls in order to prevent healthcare related infections.

As an organization, we have implemented a ventilator associated pneumonia bundle, to prevent VAP’s, a central line insertion bundle to prevent CLABSIs (Central line associated blood stream infections), and are currently working on an evidence based program to reduce the number of CAUTI’s (catheter associated urinary tract infections). We boast a very high influenza vaccine rate for employees, for the last few years we have been above the national average without having to mandate vaccinations for clinical staff.

We have joined forces with the Joint Commissions Center for Transforming Healthcare in order to work jointly on improving our compliance with hand hygiene practices endorsed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control. We have recently joined the Quality Improvement Organization with the Connecticut Hospital Association and Qualidigm, to investigate more specific evidence based practice to reduce CLABSIs, CAUTIs, and SSIs (Surgical site infections) by engaging the staff, at all levels, to identify safety issues and then work together to correct the issues.

We have also participated in a Prevalence Survey with the Department of Public Health entitled Hospital Acquired Infections and Antimicrobial use prevalence study.

Pressure Ulcers

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital revamped our Wound Care program in 2009 to include a more rigourous prevention and surveillance program. This included education for all staff on evidence based wound prevention strategies, surveillance of wounds and treatment of wounds. We instituted a “Wound Wednesday” to increase our surveillance of developing wounds in order to institute advanced prevention strategies. We participate in a quarterly pressure ulcer incidence and prevalence study by an outside firm, and are happy to report that our quality data has demonstrated a decrease in the number of wounds developed within our facility.

Patient Fall Prevention

CHH instituted a new Fall Risk Program in 2005 entitled the Hendrich Fall Risk Scale and Red Socks Fall Reduction Program. This scale is completed on all admitted patients and is done daily to assess the patients risk for falls. We implemented a post fall follow up report which includes a huddle with staff to determine ways in which the fall may have been prevented. The clinical manager group meets weekly to discuss new quality initiatives to decrease the number of falls and falls with injury. The clinical managers completes audits of our fall risk program to ensure all pieces of the program are in place, including signage, red non slip socks, bed or chair alarms if necessary.

We have currently developed a new set of guidelines for staff to utilize when they determine a patient needs more attention, to include constant observation, close observation or safety checks as necessary.

Rapid Response Teams

The hospital’s Rapid Response Team is a group of specially trained individuals who bring critical care expertise to the patient. The purpose of the team is to quickly check the condition of the patient and provide help before there is a medical emergency, such as a heart attack.

Patients can call the Rapid Response team if there is a noticeable change in the patient’s condition that needs immediate attention and the healthcare team is not recognizing or addressing the concern. In addition, after speaking with a member of the healthcare team (i.e. nurses, physicians), the patient continues to have serious concerns on how care is being given, managed, or planned.

There are many warning signs that indicate a patient is getting worse including changes in the heart or respiratory (breathing) rate, a drop in blood pressure, changes in urinary output (much more or much less urine), a change in level of consciousness, or anytime a family member is worried about the patient.

Hospital patients or family members may Dial 5000 anytime to access the Rapid Response Team. The operator will activate the Rapid Response Team. Families at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital can activate the Rapid Response Team, to bring a group of nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors to the bedside to take action quickly when a patient’s condition worsens or changes.

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Charlotte Hungerford Hospital