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May 14, 2008 > National Hospital Week Celebrates Dedication to Quality Care

National Hospital Week Celebrates Dedication to Quality Care

Dedication to quality is a guiding principle at Washington Hospital, as it combines all available resources to deliver the highest possible standard of care. During National Hospital Week, May 11-17, Washington Hospital Healthcare System celebrates the staff, and volunteers that dedicate themselves to providing quality patient care each and every day.

National Hospital Week is an outgrowth of National Hospital Day, established at the suggestion of a Chicago magazine editor in the years following the flu pandemic in 1918, in which 600,000 Americans lost their lives. The editor suggested that hospitals open their doors to the public for one day to dispel fears and misconceptions about health care. The first celebration, on May 12, 1921, coincided with Florence Nightingale's birthday.

"Health care has a personal and very powerful role in the lives of every member of the communities we serve," says Nancy Farber, CEO of Washington Hospital. "National Hospital Week gives us an opportunity to recognize the contributions of our health care workers and celebrate the great things happening in health care today."

The theme of this year's Hospital Week is "Where Healing Happens Every Day." This sentiment is especially fitting given Washington Hospital's expansion of vital services that are helping our District residents get well and stay healthy. In the past year, Washington Hospital's Diabetes Program and Stroke Program both received prestigious awards for top quality care.

The Stroke Program is now designated as a Primary Stroke Center, only the second hospital in Alameda County to earn this distinction. The program not only offers patients high quality, effective treatment for an acute stroke, but also provides patients, their families, and the community at large the tools necessary to become better informed about how to stay as healthy as possible.

The Diabetes Program was awarded the American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for its excellent diabetes self-management education program. Experts from the Association commended Washington Hospital for its in-depth, individualized approach to teaching people with diabetes how to successfully manager their disease.
In the past year, Washington Hospital Healthcare System has developed several new services and programs including the Washington Outpatient Imaging Center, Washington Women's Center and the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute that houses our new Gamma Knife program. These innovative services are intended to meet the ever growing health care needs of our District residents.
None of these accomplishments would be possible without the hard work and dedication from the more than 2,100 people in the hospital - from employees to volunteers - that make up the hospital's heart.

On the front lines of patient care are the hospital's more than 663 nurses who coordinate all aspects of that care. As team leaders, registered nurses (R.N.) guide the work of licensed vocational nurses (L.V.N.), certified nursing assistants (C.N.A.), unit clerks and orthopedic technicians. Other nurses, called clinical specialists, who must meet educational and clinical practice requirements beyond the basic nursing education and licensing required of all registered nurses, are available to consult and advise in specialty areas, such as mother-baby care.

In addition to nursing staff, the hospital employs a number of different highly qualified professionals. Therapists and technicians, with years of specialized training and experience, staff various departments, such as: Physical Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, X-ray, Clinical Laboratory, Blood Bank, EEG (electroencephalography, or testing the brain's electrical activity), EKG (electrocardiography, or testing heart function), Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy. Most of the skilled people working in these areas offer care and services to patients who have been admitted to the hospital, as well as outpatients referred by physicians.

While the Washington Hospital Medical Staff members and Washington Hospital's nursing staff are essential components to the hospital's mission, there are also many more people behind the scenes that help make the hospital what it is.

From the Washington Hospital Service League volunteer who greets you in the hospital's main lobby to the technicians in the Engineering Department who ensure that the power is always on - there are employees and volunteers there around the clock to help ensure that your experience in the hospital is the best it can be.

If a patient or family member is in need of counseling or comfort during their stay in the hospital, spiritual care volunteers are on-call around the clock to offer their support.

Hospital staff dietitians offer nutritional counseling. The Food and Nutritional Services Department staff members ensure patients receive meals that fit their dietary requirements.

There are so many special people working behind the scenes at Washington Hospital. These people include staff members employed in Admitting, Communications, Engineering, Environmental Services, Finance, Food and Nutrition Services, Housekeeping, Human Resources, Information Systems, Materials Management, Medical Records, Security, and Volunteer Services departments - just to name a few.

If you visit Washington Hospital for care May 11-17 or even visit a friend, remember to say thanks to the staff member who helps make sure your stay is a bit more comfortable.

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