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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on May 27, 2015

Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital receives prestigious award, $10,000 prize

May 27,2015

When patients are discharged from the hospital, they leave with detailed instructions on everything from dietary requirements and medication schedules to follow-up appointments. Communicating these instructions clearly and helping a patient understand them can mean the difference between recovery and relapse.

An innovative proposal developed by Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital to strengthen communication at discharge has earned a prestigious national award and a $10,000 prize.

The 2015 Pathway Award, presented by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and sponsored by Cerner, will enable Tidelands Waccamaw to implement the program outlined in the hospital’s winning proposal – a simulation-based “Teach-Back” curriculum designed to increase the effectiveness of care at discharge. Specifically, the program will use high-tech “manikins” to simulate discharge scenarios -- emphasizing teamwork and communication for nurses, physicians and therapists who typically are involved in discharging a patient to home.

The program’s goal is to advance patient care, quality and safety and reduce hospital readmissions.

“We’re honored to be selected for this prestigious award,” said Pam Maxwell, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for Tidelands Health. “Our team worked diligently to bring this to fruition. We are ready to implement the next phase, using high-tech simulation to educate our nurses in a safe, non-judgmental setting so they can bring about better outcomes for patients when they leave our hospital to move to another level of care.”

Although high-fidelity manikins have been used in academic settings for years, they are relatively new in health care.

“Using patient simulation for transition of care is really cutting edge,” said Wendy Gentile, a Tidelands Health nurse educator who will oversee the training program. “The transition of care is a critical time, and it is vitally important for a patient to fully understand home care to have a safe recovery and avoid a readmission to the hospital.”

The program, which is expected to begin in July, will feature lifelike manikins that will be programmed not only to talk and ask questions of the team preparing a patient for discharge but also to show non-verbal cues such as a racing pulse or closed eyes, which can indicate uncertainty or questions.

“The Pathway Award sponsored by Cerner recognizes organizations that use innovative technology to advance patient care and improve the practice environment,” said Roy L. Simpson, DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN, vice president of nursing for Cerner. “Simulation training will improve the quality and safety issues that impact patient care and enhance patient education and communication among the members of Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.”

Leaders from Tidelands Health accepted The Pathway Award at the national Pathway to Excellence Conference, held earlier this month in Louisville, Ky. To be eligible for the award, a hospital must be a Pathway to Excellence-designated hospital. Both Tidelands Waccamaw and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital have earned that distinction, which recognizes hospitals that have created an environment where nurses work and excel. PTE designation has been awarded to just 130 organizations worldwide.

 A team from Tidelands Waccamaw will present results from the winning project at the 2016 Pathway to Excellence Conference in Philadelphia.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.