SPRINGFIELD — A Perry Memorial Hospital initiative to improve diabetes care and outcomes through education was on display in the State Capitol on April 3 as part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s Quality Advocacy Showcase.
Perry Memorial Hospital leaders Debora May-Rickard, chief nursing officer, and Celia Goers, director of Care Management, met with legislators to share how the initiative has benefited patients, families and communities while reducing health care costs.
Perry Memorial Hospital leaders were among more than 100 hospital and health system leaders from across Illinois who met with legislators about their efforts to improve patient care and safety. Ninety hospitals and health systems showcased their improvement projects at the event.
“I found this event to be very enlightening and productive,” Rickard said.
“I was able to connect with our legislators to provide my stance on pending health care legislation. Secondly, the ability to connect with 98 other Illinois facilities and discuss quality strategy and share options on common needs and quality of patient care was excellent.”
Rickard met with state Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) during the event.
“I found Rep. Swanson to be very engaged and informed of our current health care needs and discussions. He shared interesting information to support the future growth of our community and health care,” Rickard said.
With a focus on diabetes, Perry Memorial Hospital’s project trained a diabetes self-education management coordinator, implemented “Living Well and Feeling Well” education classes, and offers nutritional therapy with Perry licensed dietitians.
The hospital invested in training and marketing, and realized a cost savings of $160,000 in reduced admissions. For the patients, families and communities Perry Memorial Hospital serves, the project improves diabetes self-management, promotes preventive health and lifestyle changes, and increases access to local resources.
IHA’s Quality Advocacy Showcase, in its fourth year, visually demonstrates the work of physicians, nurses, quality improvement leaders and hospital administrators to develop and implement solutions to improve care. IHA produced one 30-by-42-inch poster per hospital or health system project for the event.
“The Showcase gives hospital leaders and frontline staff an important opportunity to share their efforts to advance quality care,” A.J. Wilhelmi, IHA president and CEO, said. “It’s essential that policymakers and elected officials see how Illinois hospitals are doing more to serve their patients and communities through innovation and practical strategies that improve outcomes.”