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Phoebe Sumter’s Focus on Patient Safety Shows Dramatic Results


Americus, Ga. – Phoebe Sumter achieved an amazing 87% reduction in patient harm events in Fiscal Year 2017 which recently ended.  “Patient safety is at the center of everything we do every day,” said Brandi Lunneborg, Phoebe Sumter CEO.  “However, we were not satisfied with our performance in the previous year, and we made a concerted effort to improve drastically.  That work clearly paid off.”

Patient harm events encompass seven categories that must be tracked and reported to government agencies.  Those categories include patient falls, medication errors and blood infections.  In FY16 Phoebe Sumter reported 46 such events.  The total in FY17 was just six, none of which resulted in serious complications for patients.  “I’m proud that our staff took this effort seriously and dedicated themselves to offering the best possible care to every patient,” Lunneborg said.

Patient falls were the most common harm event.  Phoebe Sumter instituted policies designed to make sure patients most at risk of falling were identified upon admission and to make sure that staff checked on every patient at least once each hour during their hospital stay.  The number of falls dropped from 18 in FY16 to four in FY17.

Tuesday afternoon, Lunneborg presented a 2017 strategy review to Phoebe Sumter board members.  She highlighted the impressive patient safety results as well as improvements in patient satisfaction scores.  “As part of our strategic goals for the health system and for Phoebe Sumter, we made improving patient safety a top priority,” Lunneborg said.  “We had great success on our campus and systemwide, and we look forward to continuing those improvements in the new fiscal year that is now underway.”


PHOTO: Tuesday’s Phoebe Sumter board meeting