A Week In Business

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AGH Joins MRSA Initiative

BERLIN – Atlantic General Hospital was recently selected to join the Maryland Patient Safety Center’s MRSA Prevention Initiative, a five-month program that helps participating hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and dialysis centers identify and successfully implement new practices to reduce the spread of MRSA.

While it is estimated that more than two million people carry the MRSA germ on their skin and the incidence of infections contracted in the community is also rising, the majority of infections are still healthcare-associated.

Through this initiative, the participating healthcare providers will employ positive difference, a method that encourages the sharing and adoption of unique infection control practices that staff members may be using during their daily routine as an extra measure beyond standard protocol. Positive difference gives a voice to those on the front lines who are in a position to take note of the potential ways that infection is being transmitted and come up with effective solutions.

According to a presentation given by Johns Hopkins Hospital, who was among six selected nationally to first implement positive difference through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant in 2005, hospitals who have adopted this practice have been able to reduce MRSA infection rates by 80 percent.

“After attending the executive briefing, which cited many of the successes nationally, it was very clear to me that AGH needed to be actively engaged in positive difference,” said Colleen Wareing, vice president of Patient Care Services. “Our medical dtaff and hospital leadership agree the investment of resources along with collaboration with our community partners will lead to a significant reduction in MRSA in our community.”

In mid-November, Atlantic General proceeded with the initiative, one of several programs the hospital has adopted recently to reduce the potential spread of infectious diseases and to continually improve patient safety.

In February of 2006, Atlantic General Hospital’s surgical services department initiated the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) through a collaborative with the Delmarva Foundation.

SCIP is a national quality enterprise among hospitals committed to reducing postoperative complications. Atlantic General Hospital actively supports this partnership, and the surgical services department currently monitors and collects data on difficulties related to infections and other post-surgical complications.

The data is then submitted and results are compared nationally. Inpatient operations account for significant complications in hospitals across the country, so the scope of this joint venture allows hospitals to identify peers having similar difficulties and gives them the opportunity to learn from one another.

“We consistently demonstrate a low surgical infection rate as compared to national standards,” said Shirley Spirk, director of surgical services. “Initiatives like SCIP allow us to partner with other high quality providers to implement best practice and maintain our excellence into the future.”

New Foundation President

SALISBURY – Peninsula Regional Health System President/CEO Alan Newberry announced that Denise Billing has now been appointed president of the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation.

Billing has served as the foundation’s executive director for more than seven years. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in developing policies, programs and special events that have successfully benefited Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Most recently, Billing has worked closely with the Board of Directors of the Foundation in mounting the “Journey to a Legacy” Capital Campaign benefiting the Medical Center’s $100 million expansion and renovation project.

The Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation was established in 1993 to promote the mission of the Medical Center and to actively raise funds to assist in the purchase of new medical equipment, expand patient care services and fund many other programs that benefit the Medical Center and the community.

Prior to her position with the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation, Billing served as senior attorney and special projects manager at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and director of the Capital Campaign and counsel to the president at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland. Billing and her husband Guy reside in Salisbury.

Program Joined

BERLIN – Sprout Creatives today announced they have joined Constant Contact’s Business Partner Program. Sprout Creatives is able to provide their clients with easy-to-use email marketing and online survey products to help them build strong, lasting customer relationships. Constant Contact®, Inc. is a leading provider of email marketing and online survey tools for small organizations.

“Our customers are always looking for effective ways to grow their businesses,” said Paul Starkey, creative director, Sprout Creatives. “Constant Contact’s customer communication tools give our clients a valuable addition to our core services. Constant Contact’s ease-of-use and affordability made the partner program a great solution to meet our clients’ marketing needs.”

“Email marketing and online surveys are proven tools that help small businesses connect with their customers and build successful customer relationships,” said Len Bruskiewitz, director, partner programs, Constant Contact. “We are pleased that Sprout Creatives chose Constant Contact to provide their clients with our products and services, and we look forward to working with them to help row their clients’ businesses.”

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