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Health News

QHR client hospital Penobscot Valley Hospital named to 2012 Harvard Pilgrim Hospital Honor Roll for quality

December 4 –Quorum Health Resources (QHR) client hospital Penobscot Valley Hospital (PVH) in Lincoln, ME, was recently named to the 2012 Harvard Pilgrim Hospital Honor Roll for ranking among the top 25 percent throughout the New England region. Hospitals were measured on a set of composite quality metrics for clinical quality, patient experience and patient safety measures.
Harvard Pilgrim's Hospital Honor Roll recognizes those adult, acute care hospitals whose performance was among the top 25% of those measured nationally on clinical quality, patient experience and patient safety as reported by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Hospital Compare and by the Leapfrog Group.

To be named on the 2012 Honor Roll, a hospital had to meet strict guidelines on many different aspects of care. Harvard Pilgrim bases its scoring on four processes of care for patients with heart attacks, pneumonia, selected surgeries and healthcare associated infections. They also review patient experience survey results, electronic systems and patient safety practices.

“Recognition on the 2012 Harvard Pilgrim Honor Roll acknowledges the strengths and efforts our staff and physicians have made to provide quality care so close to home,” states Lisa French, Director of Quality Improvement at Penobscot Valley Hospital.

Penobscot Valley Hospital participates in many patient care and safety reporting initiatives by the Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the State of Maine’s Maine Health Management Coalition, and national safety groups such as Leapfrog. All of these entities provide information on their respective websites for reporting hospital information to the public.

One public resource includes the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Survey results available at The HCAHPS Survey is a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives on hospital care. Adult patients are randomly chosen to complete this survey after discharge from PVH and other hospitals across the country. Patient responses to these surveys are extremely important and help hospitals continuously improve upon patient care. If you are lucky enough to receive an HCAHPS Survey following an inpatient stay, please take a few minutes to complete this survey and know that your responses are reviewed and valued by hospital officials.

At PVH, HCAHPS scores are assessed at every department meeting. Frontline teams work together to implement patient suggestions and new ideas derived from the surveys. An example of this would be a new Teachback program implemented earlier this year in the nursing department.

“Our nursing staff at PVH have been working hard on the Teachback program to ensure our patients understand the care they are receiving,” states Karen Mueller, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at Penobscot Valley Hospital. “The hard work our nurses have put into this project is proving successful. In August, PVH ranked in the 95th percentile in communication with nurses and the 98th percentile in responsiveness of staff when compared to other hospitals nationally!”

“We are truly honored to be named among Harvard Pilgrim’s leading quality hospitals,” said David A. Shannon, CEO of Penobscot Valley Hospital. “Providing exceptional healthcare to our patients is our priority, and we are proud to be recognized for exceeding the national average in hospital quality.”

The 2012 Harvard Pilgrim Hospital Honor Roll is based on CMS Hospital Compare and Leapfrog data. Harvard Pilgrim's Hospital Quality Report identifies hospitals among the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's network which includes over 150 hospitals endorsed by the National Quality Forum.

“We are thrilled to see our client Penobscot Valley be named to Harvard’s Hospital Honor Roll for quality,” said QHR President and CEO James L. Horrar. “One of our goals at Quorum is to provide hospitals with resources to achieve quality, and PVH’s award demonstrates the success of our clients to achieve high quality outcomes.” 

What You Should Know About Diabetes


November 19 - November is American Diabetes Month with many activities designed to focus on the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and those who live with it each and every day. With the holidays upon us, staff at Penobscot Valley Hospital would like to share healthy tips and recipes that will be safe and tasty for the entire family.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 11 percent of Maine adults currently have diabetes.  Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, and is the seventh leading cause of death in Maine.

If you have diabetes, the Maine CDC suggests that you can be healthy and reduce the risks of complications when you:

  • Eat healthy, nutritious food in moderate amounts
  • Be physically active every day
  • Check you blood sugar regularly
  • Take the medicine that your medical provider prescribes
  • See your medical provider regularly
  • Keep your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol as close to the normal range as possible

There are 3 recipes from the American Diabetes Association that are on the healthier side which are on our recipe page on your Lincoln area web site. A few healthier substitutions will still delight your taste buds. CLICK HERE to check them out!

 “Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®. It is our responsibility to ensure that our youth have the right guidance and resources to get healthy,” said Larry Hausner, CEO, American Diabetes Association. “It is through our awareness activities surrounding American Diabetes Month that we hope to call greater attention to this epidemic that is facing our nation.”

American Diabetes Month is sponsored by the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes® savings program, a free offering that provides exclusive savings, prescription management services, recipes, and pharmacist tips developed exclusively for those living with the disease as well as their caregivers. To sign up and learn more, visit

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit

The flu is here

NOV. 6 - The flu has arrived in Northern Maine according to the Maine CDC. One case was reported in Aroostook County and one in Penobscot County in the past week.

International Infection Prevention Week

October 15- Walking into the main lobby of Penobscot Valley Hospital this week, you may get that strange feeling that somebody is watching you. There are over 100 non-infectious bugs with many beady eyes on display that serve as a reminder to stay safe from infection. Students from Ella P. Burr are showcasing their artwork during International Infection Prevention Week this October 14-October 21.

The fourth grade students at the Ella P. Burr school have been learning about proper hand hygiene and how to prevent the spread of infection. PVH Infection Prevention Practitioner Sherry McCafferty, RN visited the four classrooms a few weeks ago to show just how quickly germs can travel. Students passed around a special ball that left a harmless powder on their hands. Towards the end of the lesson, McCafferty traveled around the classroom with a GloGerm light which showed the students where the powder had traveled to.

“Some students had powder on their faces, pants and even sneakers. It was a great visual to get the students thinking about how quickly germs can travel and the importance of proper hand hygiene,” stated Ella P. Burr Art Teacher Holly Leighton.

While the students were busy creating their artwork, representatives from the hospital have been working on some infection prevention projects of their own. Groups are testing high-touch areas throughout the hospital and ambulance units with the GloGerm to test our cleaning practices. Hand hygiene reminders have been added to the PVH laptops that staff utilize in patient rooms. Best practice methods have been put in place for catheters and central lines to prevent infections, and safety rounding is done throughout the hospital and its affiliated practices.

“PVH has also offered Tdap vaccinations to all of our employees to help prevent the spread of Pertussis to out patients, families and community. We are currently offering the influenza vaccine to staff and will have public vaccination clinics in the near future,” states McCafferty.

During Infection Prevention Week, McCafferty would like to remind the community to use proper respiratory etiquette by coughing and sneezing into their elbow during cold season, and to obtain your influenza vaccination. It’s also very important to practice proper handwashing techniques to help prevent the spread of infection.

A public Influenza Vaccination Clinic will be held at Penobscot Valley Hospital on Thursday, October 25 from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, located in the Medical Arts Building’s Specialty Clinic. For more information, call 794-7311.  

Sherry McCafferty looks over Ms. Leighton’s fourth grade students’ non-infectious “bugs” which are on display in the main lobby at Penobscot Valley Hospital throughout Infection Prevention Week, October 14-21. (PVH photo)

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