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PeaceHealth earns national honor for clinical sedation safety efforts

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Composite portrait of Halliday and King

VANCOUVER, Wash. – PeaceHealth recently earned national recognition for its innovative efforts to bolster sedation safety across all 10 of its medical centers.

PeaceHealth received the American Excess Insurance Exchange Risk Management Award, during the Premier Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee.

Andrea Halliday, MD, PeaceHealth’s system chief clinical officer and chief medical officer for its Oregon network, and Eleen Kirman, retired chief medical officer for PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview, Washington, spent more than a year developing a systemwide evidence-based moderate sedation policy, supporting standardized care and documentation, as well as ongoing education and testing requirements for non-anesthesiologist sedation practitioners. They shared highlights of their work during the Premier Breakthroughs conference.

Moderate sedation is typically given to patients undergoing minimally invasive procedures that do not take place in a traditional operating room, such as colonoscopy, wound care or cardiac catheterization. Delivered by non-anesthesiologist sedation practitioners, it has become routine in many settings including radiology, gastroenterology, cardiology, pediatrics and emergency medicine.

Serious complications, most commonly slow and ineffective breathing, can occur when a patient receives too much medicine and transitions to deep sedation.

“Sedating a patient outside of the operating room requires extra safety measures and equipment,” said Dr Halliday. “It is important that practitioners have the education and tools they need to ensure it’s done safely.”

PeaceHealth was one of three health systems to receive the Risk Management Award from Premier Inc., a leading healthcare improvement company.

“Recipients of Premier’s 2019 Breakthroughs Awards are industry leaders that continue to transform healthcare,” said Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier. “We are honored to recognize them for their innovative efforts to improve quality and efficiency, as well as the health of communities across the nation.”

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission.