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Surgical Precision at Mid-Columbia Medical Center

MCMC ranks among the nation’s top hospitals when it comes to surgical safety and infection controlStill Sky High at MCMC
Published on 4/10/2011
Author: Dick Baltus
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Mid-Columbia Medical Center continues to rank among the nation’s top hospitals when it comes to surgical safety and infection control.

Recently released statistics from a national study called the Surgical Care Improvement Project show that MCMC performed higher than the national hospital average in each of seven surgical measurements.

The ongoing study measures hospitals’ performance in critical areas of the pre- and post-surgical process, such as the best time to administer pre-surgical antibiotics; the proper method of preparing the surgical site; and steps to take to maintain patients’ ideal body temperature during the surgery.

In each of these areas, MCMC and the other hospitals in the study are expected to adhere to best practices that have proved to produce the best outcome for patients. In the most recent study results, MCMC had near 100 percent compliance in each of the areas measured compared with national and state hospital averages, which in most cases did not reach 90-percent compliance.

Participating in the study not only helps ensure quality care for MCMC surgical patients, it also has kept the hospital’s historically low infection rates at the lowest end of the national average for many years.

Besides ensuring a safe environment, MCMC takes many other measures to make the surgical experience a positive one for patients, says department director Dick Ohnemus, R.N.

“We emphasize comfort, efficiency and safety throughout the department,” he says. “Whether a patient is here for a day surgery or an inpatient procedure, our goal is to make the process smooth from admitting through the recovery process.”

Ohnemus says his team has many years’ experience caring for surgical patients and significant extra training. The operating room is staffed with an all-physician anesthesiology team, and recovery nurses all have ACLS (advanced cardiovascular life support) and PALS (pediatric advanced life support) certifications.

“They focus exclusively on taking are of surgical patients and ensuring they have everything they need for a comfortable, successful recovery,” Ohnemus says.

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