SMH Received National Recognition for Patient Safety


Benton, AR – Saline Memorial Hospital announced today that it has achieved Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Awardfor two years in a row (2013-2014). The distinction places Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) within the top 5% of all hospitals for its excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stays according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

When compared to hospitals performing in the bottom 5% for patient safety, patients treated in Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals, on average, were:

73% less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5% in the nation.
72% less likely to experience a hip fracture following surgery compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5% in the nation.
67% less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5% in the nation.

“Our team is dedicated to personalized patient care and continuous quality improvement,” said Bob Trautman, “and this award is just one example of that.” “This is great news for our hospital but even better news for our patients and community that we serve.”

“Healthgrades is dedicated to providing quality information that helps consumers make decisions based on objective data leading to the best care for themselves and their families,” said Evan Marks, Executive Vice President, Informatics and Strategy, Healthgrades. “Consumers can rest assured that a hospital recognized with a Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award has demonstrated an established commitment to patient safety.”

During the 2014 study period (2010-2012), Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals showed better than expected performance in providing safety for patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes (risk-adjusted patient safety indicator rates) across 13 of the 14 patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). If all hospitals performed at the same level of award recipients, 266,813 patient safety events among Medicare patients in U.S. hospitals, potentially could have been avoided.

Over the past few years, SMH has implemented a number of patient safety initiatives including:

  • In 2011, SMH implemented a Patient/Family activated Rapid Response Team. If a family or patient feels something isn’t quite right about their health, they can activate the Rapid Response Team (ICU Nurse, Respiratory Therapist and Physician), this team immediately responds to the bedside to assess the situation.
  • The SMH leadership team rounds on all new patients daily. This helps to identify patient safety issues and or concerns in real-time. Nurse Managers and clinical coordinators also visit patients preoperatively to identify safety concerns or other issues prior to surgery.
  • All shift change reports are done in the patient’s room for continuity of care and to involve the patient and their family. This provides an opportunity for patients to be involved in their plan of care and address any safety concerns before the next nurse takes over.

 “Safety doesn’t’ have a beginning or an end,” said Debbie Burrow, SMH Chief Nursing Officer. “It’s a continuous process. It’s everybody’s responsibility to strive to maintain a safe environment for our patients. I’m proud of our team and the level of care provided at our hospital.”

Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) is a full-service, 167-bed non-profit community hospital that has served Saline County and the surrounding areas for more than 58 years. Located in Benton, Arkansas, SMH provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services, including but not limited to, cardiology, women’s services, bariatric surgery, pediatrics, orthopedics, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, adult and geriatric psychiatry, hospice and home health, sleep disorders and wound care. Although the main campus is in Benton, SMH also manages a general surgery clinic, internal medicine/afterhours clinic and two women’s clinics located throughout the county. For more information, visit

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