Bronson Battle Creek Leaders Honored for Quality and Safety

Published on May 12, 2014

Bronson Battle Creek Leaders Honored for Quality and Safety

BBC Leaders HonoredBattle Creek, Mich. – The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) has selected a Bronson Battle Creek executive and two Bronson Battle Creek physicians as this year’s winners of the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Leadership Awards. These awards recognize individuals who demonstrate leadership in patient safety and quality improvement and whose contributions to the field transcend the bounds of their own hospital or health system. The 2014 awards were presented in both executive and clinical leadership categories.

Cheryl Knapp, MBA, RN, CPHQ, CPPS, Bronson Healthcare vice president and Bronson Battle Creek chief quality officer, received the executive leadership award for her many years of advocating for patients throughout the Bronson Healthcare system to create a culture where staff speak up for safety and partner with patients and families to improve care. She served as Bronson Methodist Hospital’s executive champion for the MHA Keystone Center collaboratives in four separate areas; established executive patient safety rounds and a patient safety newsletter; used data and Institute for Healthcare Improvement initiative benchmarks to build awareness on transparency; and chaired the team focused on improving patient safety indicators set by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.

Robert Prodinger, DO and Penny Rathburn, DO received the clinical leadership award for leading quality and safety efforts at Bronson Battle Creek.

Dr. Prodinger is the medical director for the Bronson Battle Creek Emergency Department. He and his fellow emergency medicine providers from Southwestern Michigan Emergency Services, P.C. (SWMES,PC) have been staffing the Bronson Battle Creek emergency department since 2012. This team also provides emergency care services at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and Bronson LakeView Hospital in Paw Paw. Dr. Prodinger’s focus has been on putting processes and procedures in place to ensure patients at Bronson Battle Creek receive the same high standard of care as those seen in Bronson’s other emergency departments. Working closely with nursing, he continually reviews emergency department processes to determine how the patient experience can be improved and lengths of stay reduced. With a deep understanding of hospital quality metrics and scorecards, he has helped increase patient satisfaction scores and reduce the percentage of patients who have left the emergency department without being seen. He carefully includes patients and their families in the care plan and ensures they are well-informed.

Dr. Rathburn is the medical director for the hospitalist service at Bronson Battle Creek. Hospitalists are physicians who provide care for patients only while they are in the hospital. Once patients are discharged, they return to the care of their primary care provider. Dr. Rathburn’s group, Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists, covers Bronson Battle Creek, Bronson Methodist Hospital, and Bronson LakeView Hospital. As the medical director at Bronson Battle Creek for more than two years, Dr. Rathburn has focused on partnership and teamwork to improve quality and safety for patients. This includes multidisciplinary rounding where everyone caring for the patient meets to review each patient’s plan of care to ensure consistency among all members of the care team. Both Dr. Rathburn and Dr. Prodinger provide education to create a high reliability organization; serve on the Medical Staff Quality Committee and other committees that influence health care delivery, treatment protocols, and the culture of safety at Bronson Battle Creek; and share their passion and zeal for quality improvement.

“Bronson Battle Creek is honored to have MHA recognize our leaders for their focused efforts to improve quality and safety,” says Jim McKernan, MBA, BSN, RN, Bronson Healthcare senior vice president and Bronson Battle Creek chief operating officer. “Bronson Battle Creek’s patients and families are benefiting from the strengths of these transformational leaders who are engaging, empowering and inspiring our medical staff, nurses and clinicians to provide the best possible care.”

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