An early detection system that helps care teams predict when Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s hospitalized patients are at risk for clinical deterioration was recognized by the International Hospital Foundation with the Autsco Excellence Award for Quality and Patient Safety.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California received the Gold Award, the highest level possible, for its Advance Alert Monitor (AAM) program, which is in place at all 21 Northern California hospitals. The program is a sophisticated monitoring system that analyzes electronic hospital patient data to identify those at risk of deteriorating and alerts a specialized team of virtual nurses who determine if on-site intervention is needed. The nurses contact a rapid response team, which perform an assessment, and then work with the care team and the patient and/or family to develop a patient-centered treatment plan.
AAM predicts the probability that hospitalized patients are likely to decline, require transfer to the intensive care unit or emergency resuscitation, and benefit from interventions. Early warnings could be helpful for patients at risk of deterioration where intervention may improve outcomes.
An analysis of the program in a recent publication of the New England Journal of Medicine showed outcomes associated with lower hospital mortality, a lower incidence of ICU admission, and a shorter length of stay in the hospital.
“This program reflects our commitment to providing the safest care possible by using technology in the hands of our expert care teams to identify those patients who need immediate attention,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. “Because of this program, we are saving lives and providing the high-quality, exceptional care our patients and families deserve.”
The vital signs of Kaiser Permanente patient Erin Fowler-Jones of Pacifica triggered her to be included in the Advance Alert Monitor program when she was hospitalized last month after developing complications from foot surgery. She said she only knew that nurses were always rounding on her, making sure she was receiving the care she needed to recover.
“Staff was constantly monitoring me, which was a huge comfort,” said Fowler-Jones, a retired Kaiser Permanente nurse. “I had no idea I had been flagged for a special monitor program. I just knew that I was getting good care and safe care.”
The 2021 International Hospital Foundation Awards were revealed during the 44th World Hospital Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The IHF Awards celebrate and recognize hospitals and health care organizations with demonstrable excellence, innovations, and outstanding achievements in the health care industry. This year 250 entries were submitted from more than 38 countries/territories – a record since the awards were established in 2015.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s monitoring program was heralded as an example of how hospitals are committed to providing high-quality care and patient safety. The success of the program has reached other health care systems, which are inquiring about implementing it in their hospitals.
“This program demonstrates our expertise in using a predictive algorithm and standardized response workflow to provide the best care possible to our patients,” said Dr. Vanessa Martinez, DNP, MHA, RN, who is the Director of Virtual Nursing Care at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “This innovative program is a major step forward in making sure our hospitals are the safest in the world and ensuring our patients are well-cared for as we focus on identifying problems, intervening early, and providing the appropriate medical treatment.”
Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente currently serves almost 12.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit http://about.kaiserpermanente.org