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San Luis Valley Health wins 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award

Patient Safety Excellence Award 2017 logo

HealthGrades is pleased to announce recipients of the 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award (TM) where SLV Health is listed as one of three hospitals in Colorado to receive this award. HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award recognizes hospitals for their excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay. These hospitals are in the top 10% in the nation for patient safety and this is the second year in a row in this category for SLV Health. "I could not be more proud that San Luis Valley Health has received this award two years in a row. It demonstrates the absolute commitment of every SLVH employee to keep our patients safe when they entrust their care to us," commented Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gregory McAuliffe.

Patient safety measures how well a hospital prevents injuries, infections and other serious conditions based on 14 serious, potentially preventable adverse events. When Alan Taylor, Director of Anesthesia Services, found out that SLV Health was being awarded again, he was asked, "Why two years in a row?" He replied, "It all comes down to the staff we have in surgery: the nurses, surgeons, anesthetists, surgical techs, and housekeeper. They are dedicated to caring for the patients, many go the extra mile daily to educate, empathize and understand the patient's needs. The dedication of all involved in the preparation to care for our patients is incredible. This begins with the care our housekeepers give in providing a clean environment, the sterilization process undertaken by the surgical techs (specifically Cesar Mejia as our central sterile supervisor in assuring current up to date practices), and the communication of the nurses and anesthesia with the surgeons and the patients. All involved are dedicated to providing the best services available to the people of the San Luis Valley."

The methodology used by Healthgrades uses inpatient data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) database and software from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

On average, patients treated in hospitals receiving Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence awards were:

  • 40 percent less likely to experience an accidental puncture or laceration during a procedure, compared to patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
  • 44.6 percent less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest, compared to patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
  • 54.4 percent less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections, compared to patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
  • 50.2 percent less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital, compared to patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.

Dr. David Gieger, SLV Health Surgeon, commented, "Congratulations to all of the teams involved at SLV Health. This award is a reflection of the dedication of a team of caring professionals. I would not hesitate to have my family or myself undergo surgery with the safety provided by the team at SLV Health." Preventing patient safety events and delivering superior care experiences requires ongoing focus. SLV Health's Regional Medical Center is a 49-bed acute care hospital in Alamosa, Colorado that includes five clinics and a critical access hospital, Conejos County Hospital, in La Jara. As a non-profit hospital, SLV Health is committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities it serves in the San Luis Valley. More information about the award can be found at

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Patient Safety Excellence Award logo