Kentucky Hospital Association Honors Hospitals with Annual Quality Awards


LOUISVILLE, KY – (March 19, 2024) Six hospitals from across the Commonwealth were honored with the prestigious annual Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) Quality Awards on March 13 during the KHA Quality Conference in Louisville – an event solely focused on the dedication of Kentucky’s hospitals to providing the highest-quality care.

The KHA Quality Awards honor hospital leadership and innovation in quality, safety, and commitment to patient care. These institutions have not only met the gold standard for quality and patient safety but have exceeded it, setting new benchmarks for the industry.

This year, KHA presented awards to the following hospitals:

Critical Access Hospital Category:

  • Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital in Hyden for redesigning their operational discharge process in order to improve the transition-of-care experience for their patients. With interdisciplinary engagement and best-practice quality models, they increased patient satisfaction with care transitions by 134%.

Hospitals with Fewer Than 100 Beds Category: 

  • Rockcastle Regional Hospital in Mount Vernon for the hospital’s adolescent mental health promotion project. The hospital collaborated with school officials to provide counseling services on-site in the local schools. Rockcastle hired two licensed clinical social workers and a patient navigator, trained 274 teachers in identifying students who may have experienced traumatic events, and educated families about the new services available. The program has become so popular there is now a waiting list, and the hospital is recruiting more help to continue this crucial work. 

Hospitals with 100-250 Beds Category:

  • Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville identified an opportunity to improve the issue of low neurologically intact survival rates for patients following cardiac arrest, so the hospital established a mechanical circulatory support system that would alert ECMO-trained professionals of cardiac emergencies where they may need to be rapidly deployed.

    Collaborating with regional EMS teams to adjust their cardiac arrest protocols to also be able to deploy this response from the field using pre-established criteria, they became the first hospital in the state of Kentucky (and only the 14th in the entire country) to be able to offer Emergency Department ECMO services 24/7. 

Hospitals with 250+ Beds Category:

  • Baptist Health Paducah collaborated with a local community and technical college to design a prototype for a custom 3-D tactile education tool to elevate awareness of screening criteria for lung nodules in patients at risk for cancer. Using this tool in conjunction with other initiatives resulted in a 321% increase in lung cancer screening rates in just three years.

Psychiatric Hospital Category: 

  • UofL Health – Peace Hospital in Louisville implemented patient self-assessments to enhance the patient experience and improve the likelihood of achieving the best possible outcomes. The new system helped patients feel empowered and let them know they were valued and respected.

Physical Rehabilitation or Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) Category: 

  • Continuing Care Hospital in Lexington decreased their incidence of hospital-acquired pressure injury (HAPI) by 77%. Patients in an LTACH are especially at risk of HAPI due to the severity of their conditions and long lengths of stay, so this vast improvement is difficult to achieve. The hospital invested in multiple interventions including hiring specialists for skin and wound care to achieve the results.

These hospitals demonstrated not only a dedication to patient safety, but also persistence in going above and beyond what is expected for providing quality care. Their innovative approaches and leadership in health care have fostered an environment where quality care continually improves.

The goals of these awards are to:

  • Raise awareness of the need for an organization-wide commitment to highly reliable, exceptional quality, patient-centered care
  • Reward successful efforts to develop and promote improvements in quality of care
  • Inspire organizations to systematically integrate and align their quality improvement efforts throughout the organization
  • Communicate successful programs and strategies to the hospital field
  • Facilitate Kentucky hospitals’ alignment of quality initiatives with national initiatives

About the Kentucky Hospital Association: KHA was established in 1929. The Association represents hospitals, related health care organizations and integrated health care systems dedicated to sustaining and improving the health status of the citizens of Kentucky. The Association is headquartered in Louisville.

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