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The top of its class

“Receiving an award like this really affirms our patients that they are getting the best quality care," said Tammy Suchy, Director of Quality an Risk Management.

A patient's health and care should be at the top of every hospital's priorities. Thanks to a new designation, Tri-County Health Care (TCHC) in Wadena knows that it is doing everything possible to offer the best patient care.

TCHC was named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by Joint Commission, a national hospital-accrediting organization. TCHC received the designation in November 2014 for the cumulative 2013 year. It was recognized for meeting and upholding key accountability measures in pneumonia care and surgical care.

The accountability measures represent evidence-based practices, which are the treatment choices the hospital makes, according to Tammy Suchy, director of quality and risk management/compliance officer.

"An example of a measure for pneumonia would be appropriate pneumonia antibiotic use, making sure that we're treating our patients with the antibiotic that will give them the best outcome for getting over that pneumonia," Suchy said.

One of the requirements for TCHC's designation was achieving a cumulative performance of 95 percent or higher across all accountability measures. A 95 percent score means that the hospital provided an evidence‐based practice 95 out of 100 times.

To gather this data, TCHC reviews every case while the patients are at the hospital or after they have been discharged to make sure everything was done to give them the best care possible. These results are then submitted quarterly to Joint Commission.

Being named a top performer is a huge deal, Suchy said, as TCHC was one of only 22 of the 143 Minnesota hospitals to be recognized as a top performer. Not only that, but it means that TCHC is continuously striving to provide the best care.

"Receiving an award like this really affirms our patients that they are getting the best quality care," Suchy said. "Our goal has been to provide the best care for our patients and our communities and this is the result of that."

The top performer list is released annually, but in order to keep the designation, TCHC must maintain its scores. In that respect, Suchy said that the Joint Commission helps TCHC to continuously seek the improvement of health care, and that is what's most important.

"This recognition is really secondary to everything because we work very hard to achieve our goals and meet our measure," Suchy said. "This is really about our patients. As exciting as it is that we got this award, it's really about the care of our patients."

"We have a great team. That's what it boils down to," Suchy added. "We're all very passionate about our patients and our patients' outcomes."

The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. It believes that quality improvements in hospitals contributes to saved lives, better health and quality of life for many patients, as well as lower healthcare costs.

Jessica Sly

Jessica Sly has been working as a content writer at the Echo Press since May 2012, contributing, proofreading and editing content for both the Echo and Osakis Review. A Wadena native, she graduated from Verndale High School in 2009 and worked that summer at the Wadena Pioneer Journal as an intern reporter. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern - St. Paul), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Bible. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano (and learning the violin), reading, writing novels, going to the movies, and exploring Alexandria.

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