This case study first appeared in the report Flowers Hospital: Nearing Perfection on Core Measures by Jennifer Edwards, Dr.P.H.
Flowers Hospital, a community hospital located in southeast Alabama, climbed from average to exemplary on process-of-care, or "core" measures, across four clinical areas—heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical infection prevention—in just two years. Flowers' quality department identifies patients early in their hospital stay and continuously monitors their progress and care. The approach involves five critical elements: identification of patients who experience heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, or have surgery at the beginning of their hospitalization, so that appropriate care can be provided in a timely manner; concurrent review provided by a nurse, who monitors each eligible patient to ensure care meets standards and intervenes as needed; tools for frontline staff, including resources to remind providers of evidence-based practices; quality improvement teams that review failures of compliance and modify care processes; and performance oversight conducted by team leaders in collaboration with the CEO.
The case study or studies included in this Fund report were based on publicly availableinformation and self-reported data provided by the case study institution(s). The aim of Fund-sponsored case studies of this type is to identify institutions that have achieved results indicating high performance in a particular area, have undertaken innovations designed to reach higher performance, or exemplify attributes that can foster high performance. The studies are intended to enable other institutions to draw lessons from the studied organizations' experiences in ways that may aid their own efforts to become high performers. The Commonwealth Fund is not an accreditor of health care organizations or systems, and the inclusion of an institution in the Fund's case studies series is not an endorsement by the Fund for receipt of health care from the institution.