Offering Quality Personalized Healthcare Right Here @ Home

Offering Quality Personalized Healthcare Right Here @ Home

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Your Child Has the Flu: What Now?

Keeping a sick child home from school or daycare is always important to help control the spread of viruses; but for many parents, taking time off from work is difficult. How can parents tell if their child is ill enough to stay home? How can they balance their work responsibilities with the care their child needs?

Having an ill child at home can be challenging.  By planning ahead, parents can arrange to make child care easier for everyone.  Parents can contact others in the neighborhood or parents from their children’s classroom to make prior arrangements for ill children. For example, parents can stagger their time off from work by arranging for several children to go to one parent’s home one day, and someone else’s the next. If you have several ill children in one home, it’s a good idea to keep them in separate rooms if possible.  This will help stop the spread of any additional viruses circulating among the kids.

Veterans Memorial Hospital Provides Community Benefit

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon provides $277,236 in community benefits to the Allamakee and northern Clayton counties according to a recently completed assessment of those programs and services.  That amount, based on 2011 figures, includes $263,114 in uncompensated care and $14,122 in free or discounted community benefits that Veterans Memorial Hospital specifically implemented to help area residents.

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon Receives Press Ganey Top Performer Award for Fourth Year in a Row

Award Guardian

Veterans Memorial Hospital is proud to announce it has been named a 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in Emergency Services.  This is the fourth year in a row the hospital has been recognized for its high emergency services satisfaction scores. This year the hospital was recognized with a Guardian of Excellence Award for their Inpatient Services as well.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a health care industry symbol of achievement.  Fewer than 5% of all Press Ganey clients reach this threshold and consistently maintain it for the one year reporting period. Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve the patient experience.

"We are proud to partner with Veterans Memorial Hospital,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey . “Achieving this level of excellence reflects the organization’s commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. Veterans Memorial Hospital’sefforts benefit patients in the Allamakee and northern Clayton County communities and will lead to improved patient experiences."

According to Mike Myers, Veterans Memorial Hospital CEO, the award represents an important recognition from the industry’s leader in measuring, understanding and improving the patient experience, Press Ganey.

AwardEmblem Guardian

“Veterans Memorial Hospital is very honored to receive this Guardian of Excellence Award.  This makes the fourth year we have been recognized by Press Ganey,” states Mike Myers, Veterans Memorial Hospital Administrator.  “It is a validation from the people we serve that we are continuing to achieve our goal of friendly, personalized care right here at home.  The people who are a part of this excellent team do not do this for the recognition, but they all do an outstanding job of making each visit to our facility a “Wow” experience.”

In 2007, VMH began measuring the ER patient experience using Press Ganey.  When initial results showed VMH in the 96th percentile overall, the challenge of sustaining excellent scores was realized.  Consistent, effective and caring communication with patients and their families has been one of the main objectives followed by the hospital staff over the last four years, with a focus on building loyalty among patients.

Veterans Memorial Hospital not only measures patient satisfaction in the emergency room and inpatient area, but all maternity services patients and home health patients are surveyed through Press Ganey as well.  The hospital keeps the results and goals of all patient survey results at the forefront of the hospital’s culture.  Press Ganey results and comments are compiled monthly and shared with physicians and all staff through a “no secrets” approach.

“What makes this facility so deserving of this recognition is not the equipment or technology available, but the caring and compassion that everyone demonstrates to those who walk through our doors,” adds Myers.  “We challenge ourselves to learn from each encounter, and do even better the next time.  As it has been said here so many times, you can go anywhere to get treated, but you come to Veterans Memorial Hospital to be cared for.”

Avoiding the Flu--Good Hand Washing Really Does Make a Difference

Washing your hands and washing them well is a great way to help stop the spread of disease, especially the flu.   In addition to a flu shot, it is recommended good hand washing, along with eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough rest, will help stop the spread of the flu.  Flu shots are still available locally and it’s not too late for anyone that hasn’t had one this winter, to get one.

The following facts from the Iowa Department of Public Health help explain the best way of washing your hands and the benefits.

  • Use soap and warm or hot running water.
  • Take at least 15 to 20 seconds to do the washing.
  • Wash all surfaces using a vigorous rubbing (friction) including: wrists, palms, back of hands, between fingers and as much as possible under the fingernails.
  • Rinse under running water.
  • Away from home, dry hands using disposable paper towels or the hot air blower if possible.
  • At home, provide a separate towel for each member of the household, and wash towels regularly in hot water and detergent.
  • Properly clean frequently used items.  The flu virus can survive up to 48 hours on surfaces like a telephone, computer keyboard, doorknob, kitchen counter top, coffee pot handle and children’s toys.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says that hand washing is important because the skin constantly makes oil that stays on its surface.  The germs that get on the skin get trapped in the oil.  The skin does not have to look dirty to be loaded with tiny germs that can cause big problems, like the common cold, diarrhea and more serious diseases.  Washing hands with soap and warm running water is one of the best things anyone can do to stay healthy.

If you want to use antibacterial soap, keep in mind that antibacterial soap helps kill some germs, but not all.  Some germs can’t be killed, no matter how strong the soap is or how long you leave it on.  It is most important to spend enough time and care to wash the germs away than any product. To do the most good, washing hands has to become a habit.

Washing your hands is especially important before you:

  • Eat
  • Prepare food for self or others
  • Treat a break or cut in the skin
  • Care for an ill or injured person or animal
  • Insert or remove contact lenses

Wash hands immediately after you:

  • Use the restroom
  • Handle uncooked foods (especially raw meat, poultry or fish)
  • Change a diaper
  • Blow your nose, sneeze or cough
  • Touch an animal (especially a reptile), including animals in petting zoos
  • Handle garbage
  • Care for an ill/injured person or animal

Whenever you’ve been touching things many people have handled, routine hand washing can help reduce your chances of getting an infection.

Waterless hand sanitizer products are also a good choice for washing hands, as long as the hands are not visibly soiled.  Just one squirt rubbed on the hands quickly evaporates, while killing disease-spreading germs.

For more information on good hand washing, please contact Machelle Bulman, RN, Infection Control Supervisor at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 568-3411.


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