From the overall safety and quality care of patients to model collaborative care programs educating the next generation of health professionals, Virginia Commonwealth University’s commitment to human health runs deep.
Medical center earns top honors for safety and quality
The American Hospital Association recognized VCU Medical Center with its top honor for leadership and innovation in safety and quality improvement.
VCU Medical Center was selected as the 2014 recipient of the AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize in part because of training that resulted in a 50 percent reduction in serious safety hospital events; an electronic early warning system that alerts caregivers in real time of a patient’s declining health status; and a community clinic that has enhanced care management and care coordination for the sickest, poorest patients.
Efforts trace back to 2008 when the medical center developed “Safety First, Every Day,” a mantra to support the goal of becoming America’s safest health system, through reaching zero events of preventable harm to patients, team members and visitors. Since the initiative’s inception, more than 12,000 team members have been trained in safe behaviors and error-prevention tools, and the hospital has seen a 50 percent reduction in serious safety events.
New partnerships advance health care
The VCU Health System and Community Memorial Healthcenter in South Hill, Virginia, announced an agreement to join operations to expand the range and depth of health care delivery for residents of Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina.
With the affiliation, the VCU Health System will commit a minimum of $75 million in new strategic investments in CMH, including a new hospital facility, health care technologies, clinical initiatives and physician recruitment.
The affiliation brought together two high-performing organizations, combining the clinical expertise of the community-based hospital with the nationally ranked programs of the VCU Medical Center under the umbrella of the VCU Health System.
CMH, which has received numerous state and national recognitions for quality patient care and customer service, is licensed for 99 acute care and 161 long-term care beds and provides a wide array of in-patient and outpatient services. It is one of the area’s largest employers with approximately 800 employees and 200 volunteers. Eighty-five physicians representing 30 medical specialties have privileges at CMH.
Expanded cancer care
VCU Massey Cancer Center also expanded its reach to CMH in South Hill as well as to Spotsylvania, Virginia, with the opening of two new radiation therapy centers.
On Aug. 14, 2013, community citizens, health care leaders, local politicians and officials gathered at CMH for the grand opening of the Solari Radiation Therapy Center, the first and only radiation therapy center in the Southside Virginia area. The center is a joint venture between CMH and Massey, who together provide CMH’s cancer and specialty care.
A week later, HCA Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center opened a state-of-the-art radiation oncology unit, offering services jointly delivered by VCU Medical Center and Massey. The center encompasses 7,000 square feet and features a high-energy linear accelerator and 4-D General Electric Optima Simulator that offer innovative radiation treatments.
VCU Medical Center’s Hume-Lee Transplant Center, Medical Psychiatry Unit and Acute Care Surgery Unit and VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit all received a Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in 2013. The award recognizes those units that demonstrate strong patient outcomes and exemplify outstanding service and innovation. The Medical Psychiatry and BMT units are the first of their kind in the nation to earn the honor.
VCU leads in teaching collaborative care
VCU is among the leaders in interprofessional education, a growing trend used in the training of future generations of health care professionals. With little or limited opportunities to work together while still in school, many of these students would have their first interaction with other health care disciplines on the first day on the job — while caring for real patients.
Interprofessional education is designed to get multiple health care professionals — physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, technicians and more — working as a team and communicating effectively beginning while they are students.
Alan Dow, M.D., assistant vice president of VCU Health Sciences’ Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care, and associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine, leads a research project funded with support from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation to examine how increased collaboration among health professionals can improve patient care and how to teach team-based competencies that foster effective interprofessional practice. His team, which includes more than 20 faculty members from VCU’s schools of Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Social Work, is in the process of creating a sequence of interprofessional experiences that other institutions can use.
Major gift is good medicine for VCU
The Harry and Harriet Grandis Family Foundation announced a $2.1 million gift that will endow a full-tuition scholarship in the School of Medicine and an endowed chair to support lung cancer research.
The family’s gift brings Massey’s total funds raised through the ongoing $100 million Research for Life Campaign to more than $85 million.
To preserve Mr. and Mrs. Grandis’ yearly gift, the Grandis Family Foundation has directed $1 million of its total gift to endow the Harry and Harriet Grandis Scholarship Fund. Each year, the fund’s investment earnings will produce a full in-state scholarship for a deserving medical student. The gift launches the medical school’s new $25 million campaign to expand the medical school’s scholarship endowment.
Pictured from left: Jerome Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine; Nancy Grandis White and Betty Sue Grandis LePage, The Harry and Harriet Grandis Family Foundation; and William Ginther, rector of the VCU Board of Visitors.
VCU Medical Center treats cyclists, prepares for next year’s world race
When the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships came to Richmond in May, the VCU Medical Center team immersed itself in the event and played a critical supporting role in its operation.
In addition to the hospital’s regular commitment as Central Virginia’s only Level 1 trauma center, VCU Medical Center was the medical sponsor and sole health care provider for the three days of racing, which meant ensuring the availability of medical services for roughly 400 athletes and thousands of spectators.
This year’s race served as trial run for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, which will bring an estimated 450,000 spectators and 1,500 athletes to Richmond for nine days in September. VCU Medical Center is in charge of medical care for that cycling event as well.
hospital in Richmond area
students who participate in interprofessional experiences each year
reduction in serious safety event rate
staff trained in safe behaviors and error-prevention tools since 2008
reduction in health care associated infections in VCU’s ICUs since 2003