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May 6, 2014 - Primary Care Focus Helps USA Medical Center Unit Reach Major Milestone

The Rapid Response/Code 1 Committee at the University of South Alabama Medical Center (USAMC) announced that there were no Code 1 events on the sixth floor post-surgical unit for seven months, a period from October 2013 through April 2014. A Code 1 is a cardio/respiratory resuscitation event.

The sixth floor at USAMC is a 36-bed unit that cares for surgical, orthopedic and trauma patients. Patients often have multiple injuries, and the nurses react to anywhere from 12 to 14 Rapid Response events per month, which are declines in the patient conditions that requires intervention to prevent a Code 1 event.

The floor recently changed its practice over the past several months to primary care nursing. Many of the indicators have proven it to be more beneficial for patient outcomes. Primary care nursing has increased the time the nurses are spending with their patients. The nursing staff is more proactive in their nursing care, identifying and attending to issues more efficiently.

“In the face of change, this group of nurses has kept their focus on what matters most at USAMC, patient care and safety,” said RTN-Clinical Nurse Leader Sheri Salas, chair of the committee.

The success is a result of special efforts in effect since October to place patients in the appropriate care environment to improve patient outcomes and the transition to primary care nursing that has occurred on the sixth floor.

The Rapid Response/Code 1 Committee reviews cases of events related to patient’s decline in medical status during hospitalization (Rapid Response) and cardio/respiratory resuscitation (Code 1). The committee has team members on medical surgical units to concurrently research each case as it happens. They look for trends in order to make improvements and educate where appropriate to create a safer care environment for patients.

USAMC congratulates the sixth floor nurses for excellent quality of care.

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