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EHS Dr. Ratchford receives Medical Director Quality Award
0722 dr ratchford
Dr. Joseph Ratchford

Dr. Joseph Ratchford, medical director of Effingham Health System and Extended Care Center, received the Medical Director Quality Award during the Georgia Medical Directors Association Symposium in Amelia Island, Fla.

Each year, a Georgia nursing home medical director is recognized for his or her leadership, knowledge, and involvement in their facility’s educational and quality improvement initiatives. The award was given in partnership with GMDA, Alliant Quality and the Georgia Health Care Association.

“He is the quality champion for our care center,” said Mary Pizzino, chief information officer/executive director of quality at Effingham Health System and Extended Care Center. “He inspires action with team members through helping alleviate obstacles with unique perspectives on quality approaches and getting them to do what needs to be done to accomplish the tasks at hand.”

Ratchford completes weekly rounds throughout the facility, identifying infection control risks. He is instrumental in working with the medical and clinical staff in developing and implementing nurse and physician protocols such as: Foley removal, nausea and vomiting, chest pain and C-diff protocols.

He has championed performance improvement teams that focused on projects such as: consistent assignments, falls reduction, reduction of anti-psychotropic medications, and pain assessment/reassessment. He was instrumental in the development of the preceptor program for the CNAs.

“This has led to improving our patient centered care and better outcomes for our residents,” said Pizzino.

Serving as the Electronic Health Record Champion, he has implemented rapid and effective transition to an electronic medium including patient records, pharmacy orders and is spearheading the effort to include all other ancillary departments in the same rapid manner.

“Effingham Health System and Extended Care Center have led efforts for person centered care and they are addressing their QI efforts head on with passion on behalf of their residents,” said Linda Kluge, RD LD CPHQ, director, IDIQ for Alliant Quality. “Dr. Ratchford has excelled as their physician champion, making sure that all staff are working together, especially the direct care giver. The time spent with the front line staff makes the difference.”