PH Elk Receives Awards for Quality Performance

October 21, 2016


Front row: Kim Johnston CNA, Michelle Eckert RN, Katie Fink RN, Cindy Salerno RN Director Back row: Shiela Hopkins RN, Kristin Schmader RN, Crystal Rippy CNA, Dr. Thomas Baker, Lacy Fink CNA

Penn Highlands Elk has been recognized for its hard work in reducing hospital-acquired infections by the Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network.  During the period from February 2014 through July 2016 (2 years, 5 months), there have been no Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) in this hospital’s Intermediate Care Unit.  The Medical/Surgical/Pediatric Unit was also recognized for zero CAUTIs over the last five months.

“CAUTIs are the most common hospital-acquired infections, due in part to many patients having catheters,” explained Cindy Salerno, the manager of the IMCU and Med/Surg/Peds Units.  “Urinary tract infections can lead to serious complications and increase the patient’s length of stay.”

The nursing staff at Penn Highlands Elk has made this issue a priority and developed protocols for foley catheters.  They are inserted only when medically necessary and removed at the earliest possible time.  Patients with catheters are tracked and cared for according to the nation’s best practices.

“We are extremely pleased to be recognized for the hard work our nurses do,” said Christine Garner, Chief Nursing Quality Officer.  “We have made great strides in quality care, and our staff deserves to be praised.” 

Salerno added, “Our goal is to prevent infections and ultimately improve outcomes in our hospitalized patients.”