Parkview joins national improvement program

Filed under: Health Care |

In a continuing effort to measure, report and improve clinical care, Parkview Medical Center is participating in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Parkview is the second hospital in the state, and the only hospital in southern Colorado, to join the program, according to The American College of Surgeons, which says participation “is the best way to benchmark and improve quality care.”

The program employs a prospective, peer-controlled, validated database to quantify risk-adjusted surgical outcomes, which allows comparison of outcomes among participating hospitals. Parkview and its surgical staff are able to use the data to make decisions about quality improvement efforts.

NSQIP requires that data from at least 1,680 general and vascular surgical procedures be submitted. Since its inception in 2001, the program has proven to be a quality improvement tool and a source of clinical knowledge for the 103 participating medical centers.

The information provided will assist Parkview in reducing postoperative mortality and morbidity rates, reduce length of stay for postoperative patients and increase patient satisfaction.

Seven research finalists chosen for BioWest 2006

Novel cancer drugs, innovative treatments for blood cancers and clotting, new ways to attack inflammatory and infectious diseases, ground-breaking compounds to treat osteoporosis and metastatic bone disease, pioneering devices for orthopedic surgery, commercializing biofuels from algae and revolutionary wearable rehabilitation systems comprise the seven finalists in this year’s BioWest Venture Showcase competition, according to Christine Shapard, director bioscience and emerging technologies for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

“By focusing on new therapies targeting common diseases, creating systems and devices to fix problems and finding ways to reduce our dependence on oil, the seven finalists chosen for this year’s BioWest Venture Showcase are on the front lines of making the world a better place,” Shapard said. “The winner will receive the $10,000 Faegre & Benson Venture Showcase award at the Colorado Bioscience Association Annual Awards Dinner on August 24.”

Donor Alliance has record month for organ donors

Donor Alliance, the nonprofit organ procurement organization serving Colorado and most of Wyoming, had a record month in June with 17 organ donors.

“In Colorado and Wyoming, an average of nine people die each month waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Sue Dunn, CEO of Donor Alliance. “Having months where donation and transplant rates are high is very exciting to us as we continue to work hard to shorten the waiting list for organs.”

Amy Iveson, vice president of operations for the organization credited a high “authorization rate” for reaching the record. The authorization rate measures the percentage times a family says “yes” when approached about organ and tissue donations.

“We have seen a growing number of hospitals become increasingly dedicated to organ and tissue donation,” she said. “At the end of the day, their support of donation will save lives.”

Nearly 1,700 people in Colorado and Wyoming are waiting for an organ transplant. For more information about organ and tissue donation call Donor Alliance at (303) 329-4747 or visit

Physicians slightly more confident about avian flu

A national survey of 654 physicians indicates that doctors are slightly more confident in the government’s ability to deal with the avian bird flu than they were nine months ago.

The survey was conducted by HCD Research and Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion on July 5-6, as part of their on-going study of the social, economic and political issues confronting the U.S. health care system.

Among the findings:

  • Comparing results from an earlier HCD Research-MCIPO poll conducted in October, physicians’ confidence in the government’s preparedness has increased slightly. In October, 78 percent said the government was “very unprepared,” or “somewhat unprepared.” In the new poll, 57 percent of physicians said the government is “very unprepared” or “somewhat unprepared.” And 38 percent of physicians now say the government is “somewhat prepared,” compared to 20 percent in October.
  • More than half of the physicians who responded (52 percent) have some level of confidence in the ability of antivirals to fight the avian flu. Few physicians (2 percent) are “very confident” or “confident” (9 percent), and 44 percent are “not confident.”
  • A majority of physicians (80 percent) said the medical community requires increased preparation, with 33 percent indicating that it needs to greatly increase its efforts and 47 percent saying that some increase in preparation is necessary.
  • Sixty-two percent of physicians reported that they were “not confident” in the medical community’s
    ability to produce vaccine quick enough to prevent a significant number of deaths.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.