UM Chester River Home Care Recognized for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes


University of Maryland Chester River Home Care received special recognition at UM Shore Regional Health’s recent Nurse Excellence Awards Celebration as winner of the Unit/Department Award for Excellence in Empirical Outcomes.

As part of UM Shore Regional Health’s celebration of Nurses Week, the Nurse Excellence Awards Celebration took place on Monday, May 8 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College.

The Unit/Department Award for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes recognizes “outstanding teamwork and collaboration with other health care team members and disciplines toward achieving optimal patient outcomes.”According to Rita Holley, regional director of Home Care Services for UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), during the past year, UM Chester River Home Care (UM CRHC) staff made significant gains in quality improvement, staff engagement and patient satisfaction.

UM Chester River Home Care staff members with Ruth Ann Jones (center); left of Jones, Rene Baker and Trish Focht; right of Jones, Nurse, Katie Davis and Melissa Myers.

“I am very proud and gratified to see Chester River Home Care win this award,” says Holley. “In 2016,the agency staff improved their response rate to referrals and the home care admissions process so that now, 94 percent of patients are admitted within 48 hours or less, which is above both state and national averages for home care admissions.”

Holley also noted that to educate patients and support discussions between home care nurses, patients and their family members, UM CRHC staff introduced a patient orientation handbook that covers important topics,such as safe medical management, compliance with medication orders, symptom management and safety practices involving fall prevention and oxygen equipment care.

“This is a hard-working team whose dedication to their patients and the communities they serve is widely known and now, thanks to their winning this award, officially recognized,” says Holley. “Their success in analyzing new challenges and coming up with effective solutions to meet those challenges is what makes Chester River Home Care an important force in achieving Shore Regional Health’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.”

Each year, UM CRHC staff members drive more than 150,000 miles in Kent and Queen Anne’s County to provide more than 12,000 home care visits serving approximately 800 patients. The agency’s 4-star rating from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Service exceeds both the national average of 3.0 and the Maryland average of 3.5 In terms of patient satisfaction ratings, UM CRHC has scored significantly higher than the state and national averages in five out of five rating categories.

Home health care includes many services, including skilled nursing, rehabilitation (physical, occupational and speech therapy) and assistance with activities of daily living. According to the national newsletter, the HCD, the in-home health care industry is currently the leading job creator in the United States and is estimated to generate more than $50 billion annually in costs paid by consumers and insurance companies. As more people reach retirement age, the growing demand for home health services is expected to continue.

The Nurse Excellence Awards presentation was led by Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for UM SRH. Jones noted that 2017 marked the sixth anniversary of the Nurse Excellence Awards and that this year’s honorees were selected from a total of 48 individual nominations and 10 unit/department nominations, the greatest number submitted since the awards were established. “This awards program was established by nurses and for nurses as a way to recognize those who go above and beyond to always deliver exceptional care,” Jones said.

Ken Kozel, president and CEO, noted the pivotal role that Shore Regional Health’s 600 nurses play in achieving the organization’s vision of being the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Health Care. “Our nursing team’s strong partnerships with our physicians and other members of the health care team enable us to continue to “raise the bar” on safety, quality and patient experience,” Kozel said.

John Dillon, chairman of the Board, noted that among the constants at UM SRH is the outstanding reputation of the nursing team. “When a community member shares a story about an experience at one of our hospitals or outpatient facilities, that story almost always includes the nurse or nurses, often mentioned by name, who provided expert and compassionate care,” Dillon said.

About UM Shore Regional Health: As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,500 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

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