Fairfield Medical Center
Public Relations Specialist
LANCASTER, Ohio (July 19, 2012) – Recently, the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging honored Fairfield Medical Center with the 2012 Outstanding Service to Seniors award for leadership in older adult care at the 2012 Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame ceremony at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus.
During 2011, FMC evaluated strategies to keep elderly patients from returning to the hospital for unnecessary visits after being released. By pairing up with the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA), FMC created an evidence-based care transition project to reduce these unnecessary hospital visits as well as reducing Medicare costs.
From left, Suzi McClaskey, FMC Case Management supervisor; Lisa Lanning, FMC Six Sigma black belt; and Dr. Steven Cox, FMC chief medical officer.
COAAA Registered Nurse Brenna Gardner and FMC staff used evidence-based Coleman Care Transition Intervention Program tactics to work with patients regarding their complex needs after discharge from the hospital. The following are FMC staff members who were instrumental in making this program a success: Lisa Lanning, Six Sigma; Cheryl Upp, Case Management; Christina Siemer-Harley, Cardiopulmonary Fitness/Education; Robin Sheets, Nursing Services; Sandi Wagner, Medical Surgical; and Suzi McClaskey, Case Management. During the four-month project, readmission rates dropped from 27 percent to 12 percent. Other team members include, Molly Getz from Care Tenders Visiting Nurses, Denise Bauer from FairHoPe Hospice, and Pam Patula from Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living.
“Thanks to the work of our team, we are able to provide better care for people in our community after they leave our facility,” said FMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Cox. “This ensures that patients don’t have to return for unnecessary visits in the near future.”
Building on the success of the initial project, FMC led an effort to apply for a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The project became a multi-county project and included five hospitals and three Area Agencies on Aging. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services funded this project as a five-year demonstration. The new project focuses on improved patient outcomes including reduced readmission rates and decreased emergency department visits.
“An important goal is to empower older adults to be an active part of their health care,” said COAAA Executive Director Cindy Farson. “Working with a hospital that is so committed to community partnerships is a real pleasure.”
For more information on the COAAA Outstanding Service to Seniors award, visit The mission of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging is to plan, coordinate and advocate for the development and delivery of services for older adults, families and the community. Through leadership, funding and education, the COAAA supports individual choice, independence and dignity. The COAAA service area covers the following central Ohio counties: Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union. More information is available at 1-800-589-7277 or www.coaaa.org.
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