Piedmont Newnan Hospital Wins 2008 VHA Georgia Regional Leadership Award

Piedmont Newnan Hospital has been selected as a winner of the 2008 VHA Inc. Georgia Regional Leadership Awards in the Operational Excellence category for their improvements in the operating room that increased patient care and improved patient and physician satisfaction. The improvements were part of assistance from Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by VHA Georgia for our lean initiative in the operating room,” said Michael Bass, president and CEO of Piedmont Newnan Hospital. “The lean project was initiated in November 2007 in order to improve on our operating room’s service and quality, and it feels great to be recognized for our efforts.”

In their work toward improving Piedmont Newnan Hospital’s operational excellence to enhance patient services, the hospital identified the need to enhance efficiency in several ways including increasing the utilization of operating rooms by 10 percent and reducing turnaround time. With these goals in mind, the hospital, in conjunction with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, applied lean, a set of tools widely used in manufacturing to help identify and steadily eliminate waste from an organization’s operations, to their operating room processes.

A cross-functional team of employees identified three rapid process improvement areas: case cart and instrument process flow, standardization of the supply area, operating rooms and central sterile, and room turnaround and specialty team concept. As a result of the lean project, Piedmont Newnan Hospital successfully achieved decreased operating room turnaround times and continues to increase operating room utilization.

“These awards exemplify the efforts that are underway across the state to improve the quality health care being delivered to Georgians. Instead of reinventing the wheel, our members are learning from each others’ successes and failures, and by recognizing these few hospitals, we hope to point others in the right direction,” said Richard T. Howerton, III, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of VHA’s regional office in Atlanta.

VHA Georgia, part of the national health care alliance VHA Inc., recognized 10 Georgia hospitals for improving their supply chain performance, clinical care, operational efficiency and community benefit performance. Each year VHA Georgia, through its annual VHA Georgia Regional Leadership Awards and Expo, honors its member organizations that have exhibited exceptional and innovative improvements. VHA Georgia selects a panel of peers to blindly review the award entries. This year the organization awarded 12 awards, three in each category, out of 51 applications.

Piedmont Newnan Hospital and Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute will present their winning project at the VHA Regional Leadership Expo on Oct. 15, 2008, at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta. The event brings together health care organizations from across the state to network and learn from each other in order to become the state’s and the nation’s best performers.

About Piedmont Newnan Hospital:
Piedmont Newnan Hospital (PNH) is a 143-bed, acute-care hospital in Newnan, Georgia, offering 24-hour emergency services, women’s and children’s services (including OB and inpatient pediatrics), and general medical/surgical services. Diagnostic services include CT, nuclear medicine, MRI, PET, ultrasound and fluoroscopy. A complete range of medical/surgical services includes laparoscopic surgery, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, sleep studies and cardiac catheterization and rehabilitation. With approximately 1,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 150 physicians, PNH is a member of Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization that also includes Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed acute tertiary care facility offering all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services located on 26 acres in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital located on Highway 54 in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; the Piedmont Heart Institute, an integrated cardiovascular healthcare delivery system that combines premier cardiovascular physicians with the prestigious Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta; the Piedmont Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 80 primary care physicians in more than 30 offices throughout metro Atlanta; and the Piedmont Clinic, a 563-member physician network. For more information, visit www.piedmontnewnan.org.

About VHA:
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national alliance that provides industry-leading supply chain management services and supports the formation of regional and national networks to help members improve their clinical and economic performance. With 16 offices across the U.S., VHA has a track record of proven results in serving more than 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 23,000 non-acute health care organizations nationwide.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, organizations, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation. In 2008, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EII) created a health care performance group to help address rising costs and improve the quality of health care. The group works with health care providers and service organizations to apply lean management principles – a set of tools derived mostly from the Toyota Production System widely used in manufacturing – that helps identify and steadily eliminate waste from an organization’s operations. For more information, visit www.innovate.gatech.edu.

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Media Relations Contacts: Kelly Hines (770-304-4243); E-mail (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

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