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Windom Area Hospital earns patient safety excellence award
Windom Area Hospital has earned a Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Award for its work on preventing pressure ulcers through the SAFE SKIN initiative. The award is given to teams achieving more than 90 percent of the actions in the SAFE SKIN Roadmap to a Comprehensive Safe Skin Prevention Program.

Because patient safety is a top priority, Windom Area Hospital joined the SAFE SKIN initiative, where Minnesota teams are working collectively to prevent pressure ulcers by implementing the SAFE SKIN roadmap.

“Hospitals that receive these awards are to be commended the bar is set very high," said MHA Patient Safety Vice President Tania Daniels. “Hospitals that qualify have achieved measurable and meaningful progress toward implementing best practices to drive down adverse health events."

“The Windom Area Hospital Board has established a goal to improve quality of care and patient safety,"explains Gerri Burmeister, Windom Area Hospital Administrator. “The staff is to be commended for their commitment to patient safety and the prevention of adverse health events. We are proud of the work they have accomplished."

Implementing the SAFE SKIN roadmap involves many steps:

S-Safety coordination. Hospitals create policies and committees to support the initiative.
A-Accurate and concurrent reporting. Hospitals develop and implement data tools to allow them to accurately measure the problem and learn from what happened.
F-Facility expectations, staff education and accountability. Hospitals train and evaluate staff on a variety of pressure ulcer prevention methods.
E-Education for patients and families. Hospitals create materials in lay language to help patients prevent pressure ulcers in the hospital and while at home.

S-Skin inspection and risk assessment. Hospitals implement screening processes for all patients.
K-Keep pressure off to minimize pressure, friction and shear. Hospitals take steps to minimize pressure which can lead to skin breakdown.
I-Incontinence/moisture protection. Hospitals develop care standards to prompt additional care when incontinence or additional moisture on the skin puts patients at special risk.
N-Nutrition. Because poor nutrition can increase skin breakdown, hospitals develop policies and practices to optimize nutrition in patients at risk.

This summer, Windom Area Hospital earned a Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Award for its work on preventing patients from falling during hospital stays through the SAFE from FALLS initiative. Windom Area Hospital is proud of our dedication and commitment to the safety of our patients.

For more information about the SAFE SKIN or SAFE from FALLS campaigns, visit the Minnesota Hospital Association Web site at, or contact Windom Area Hospital Director of Patient Care, Kari Witte, RN, at 831-0665.

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