GRHealth awarded for safety, quality in heart surgery

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents Medical Center has earned a statewide award for enhancing cardiac care from the Partnership for Health and Accountability, an affiliate of the Georgia Hospital Association. GRHealth earned third place among Georgia hospitals with more than 300 beds for successfully managing blood sugar levels in heart surgery patients.

PHA’s annual Quality and Safety Awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievements in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.

“We are honored to have been chosen for another PHA award at GRHealth. We are always looking for ways to advance the care we provide to our patients and families,” said Dr. Kevin C. Dellsperger, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

Research has shown that people whose sugars are not well managed after surgery tend to have higher rates of complications, so GRHealth standardized the management of glucose levels in surgical patients through advanced treatment protocols. This enhanced cardiac care plan requires monitoring blood sugar more frequently; providing more thorough patient education; increasing communication between the operating room and the intensive care unit; and fulfilling all necessary caregiver training.

“By implementing these protocols, we have reduced the risk of wound infections and improved survival in cardiac surgery,” said Dellsperger, a seasoned cardiologist. “We have shown marked improvement in a short period of time.”

Results showed staff compliance for managing glucose levels improved from 31 to 100 percent during surgery and from 82 percent to 100 percent during the post-operative period.

“This demonstrates our commitment to improving quality and safety for our patients.” Furthermore, Dellsperger said the results have relevance across the board for better outcomes.

“Cardiac surgery is life-saving, but it can have potentially life-threatening complications. Proper glucose control ensures patient safety by reducing the risk of these complications,” said Dr. Doug Patten, GHA’s Chief Medical Officer. “We applaud Georgia Regents Medical Center for its success in this area and for its efforts in providing the best and safest care possible to its patients.”

About PHA
The Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA), an affiliate of GHA, was established in January 2000 to improve patient care and patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities and create healthy communities.

About GHA
Established in 1929, GHA is the state’s largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems providing education, research and risk management services to its more than 170 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgia’s citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.

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Written by
Denise Parrish

Denise Parrish is Director of Communications for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic at 706-721-9760 or

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Written by Denise Parrish

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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