February 16, 2007
MARSHALL MEDICAL CENTER RECOGNIZED FOR ADVANCING RURAL HEALTH
LEWISBURG, Tenn. – The Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT) recognized Marshall Medical Center (MMC) for its participation in the Tennessee Rural Hospital Patient Safety Demonstration Project at the 2006 RHAT Annual conference in Gatlinburg. MMC was one of eight hospitals that participated in the project.
The institutions, in collaboration with Tennessee Hospital Association (THA), Qsource, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and academic researchers, were honored in the special exemplary project category, which recognizes a unique program advancing rural health.
The goal of the demonstration project was to enhance the capabilities of small rural hospitals to improve patient safety by strengthening their capacity to prioritize, design and implement patient safety improvements. Patient quality and safety are critical to the viability of rural hospitals, according to Bill Jolley, THA vice president, rural issues.
“Quality and safety are matters of great concern for hospitals of all sizes, but especially for smaller, rural facilities, which may be perceived as having a lack of resources and expertise to implement safety standards,” said Jolley.
Ken Rhudy, chief executive officer of MMC, is pleased with the recent honor. “This award recognizes Marshall Medical Center’s successful development of a culture of patient safety. Our enhancement of patient safety culture, improvement of emergency room protocols and deployment of information technology (personal digital assistants to each prescribing clinician) builds a stronger and safer healing environment at Marshall Medical Center,” said Rhudy. “We are proud of our accomplishments; but what we are most proud of is that our experiences and lessons learned will be used by other rural healthcare organizations to improve the care provided.”
The project was developed to serve as a safety benchmark for rural hospitals. It is intended to be replicated in rural and critical access hospitals within the state of Tennessee and nation-wide.