A Promise to Amanda Foundation nominates the respiratory care team at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, for RT Magazine’s “Best of Care” award for its dedication to the safe use of opioids in its facilities.

RT Magazine is looking for nominations for the best respiratory therapy department by July 12, 2013.

A Promise to Amanda Foundation submitted the following nomination and encourages others to also nominate Wesley Medical Center:

The respiratory therapy department at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, deserves “Best of Care 2013” for its work on reducing the percentage of moderate and severe patient-controlled analgesia adverse events progressing to Code Blue. During the last three years since implementing end tidal CO2 monitoring, the respiratory department reduced adverse events progressing to Code Blue from 13 percent to zero percent.

Debra Fox, MBA, RRT-NPS and Mark Wencel, MD, from the Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, KS, first presented the Wesley Medical Center study as an abstract and poster presentation in 2011 for the American Association for Respiratory Care. Ms. Fox recently presented on the impact of continuous monitoring at a webinar hosted by the California Hospital Engagement Network in May 2013.

“Our latest results show the sustained reduction in our severe ADRs,” explained Ms. Fox. “The hospital’s safe medication practice committee is now considering expanding EtCO2 monitoring to all patients receiving intermittent IV opioids, not just those that score as high risk.”

It is particularly important to recognize Wesley Medical Center in 2013 given that this year marks the first RT Magazine awards ceremony since The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert on the safe use of opioids in hospitals, issued in August of last year.

The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert states: “While opioid use is generally safe for most patients, opioid analgesics may be associated with adverse effects, the most serious effect being respiratory depression, which is generally preceded by sedation.”

Wesley Medical Center has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that all patients remain safe when using opioid analgesics by monitoring ventilation with capnography. Doing so leads to earlier interventions before respiratory depression takes place. The Wesley Medical Center’s respiratory care department needs to be acknowledged for its dedication to ensuring all patients experience positive outcomes. It therefore deserves RT Magazine’s “Best of Care” award.