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Optimal Health

CREATING HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES

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CREATING HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES

Flu vaccinations protect everyone’s health

Following one of the worst flu seasons in the nation’s history, ChristianaCare made national news in 2018 with its #HitMeWithYourFluShot employee vaccination campaign in which 8,000 caregivers received their flu shot in a single day. Ensuring employees are vaccinated is an important way that ChristianaCare protects the health of patients and the community. ChristianaCare stands out among U.S. health systems with an annual voluntary flu vaccination rate of more than 90 percent.

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Reducing opioid prescriptions

Reducing opioid prescriptions

Meeting behavioral health needs of our community

Meeting behavioral health needs of our community

Getting to the heart of the matter

Getting to the heart of the matter

Preventing suicide

Preventing suicide

New support for young adults with special needs

New support for young adults with special needs

Delaware’s first epilepsy monitoring unit

Delaware’s first epilepsy monitoring unit

Delivering on care and savings

Delivering on care and savings

Reducing opioid prescriptions

Meeting behavioral health needs of our community

Getting to the heart of the matter

Delaware’s first epilepsy monitoring unit

Preventing suicide

New support for young adults with special needs

Delivering on care and savings

Reducing opioid prescriptions

The battle against opioid addiction is like fighting a raging fire, according to Terry Horton, M.D., chief of ChristianaCare’s Division of Addiction Medicine. “Our efforts to prescribe opioids responsibly are reducing the fuel for that fire,” he said. Thanks to new guidelines, ChristianaCare is successfully reducing its use of opioids systemwide. Evidence of progress includes:

  • A 40 percent reduction in the number of opioids prescribed after some OB/GYN and general surgery procedures.
  • A reduction by almost 50 percent in the rate of opioid prescriptions among discharged Emergency Department patients.
  • A 37 percent reduction in primary care patients on chronic opioid therapy for pain in a pilot project.

Meeting behavioral health needs of our community

To help address the demand for behavioral health services in our community, ChristianaCare has added a four-year Psychiatry Residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The program will train four new residents each year, for a total of 16.

Getting to the heart of the matter

Skip Pennella knows firsthand why ChristianaCare is consistently honored for expert clinical care. It was a routine stress test. At least, that’s what Pennella thought. The stress test, however, indicated otherwise. His cardiologist, Alan Micklin, M.D., quickly scheduled him for a cardiac catheterization, a diagnostic procedure that lets the cardiologist visualize the coronary vessels. Pennella had four blocked arteries. Pennella, who is a member of the Board of Directors of ChristianaCare and a Trustee, had his choice of surgeons and hospitals, including those in nearby Philadelphia. He selected Ray A. Blackwell, M.D., chief of cardiac surgery at ChristianaCare’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health and the W. Samuel Carpenter III distinguished chair of cardiovascular surgery.

While ChristianaCare’s honors for expertise are remarkable, Pennella was most impressed with the caregivers behind them. Before surgery, Dr. Blackwell “answered every question we asked — and some we didn’t even ask,” Pennella said. “He was very reassuring. He said: ‘Thank you for putting your trust in me.’ That stuck with me.”

Preventing suicide

Using a validated screening tool, ChristianaCare is expanding its ability to reach people at risk for suicide and offer them potentially lifesaving services based on their needs. All patients who come to a ChristianaCare Emergency Department are screened for suicide risk. This population health approach has put thousands of people in touch with services when they otherwise might have struggled alone.

New support for young adults with special needs

Young people — and their caregivers — who struggle with special health care needs often discover that changing from pediatric to adult health care can be a challenging and even frustrating experience. But a vital resource is now available at ChristianaCare’s Center for Special Health Care Needs. It is the only facility in the area dedicated to caring for adults, ages 18 and older, with chronic, complex medical and social conditions that originated in childhood, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other complex neurological conditions.

Delaware’s first epilepsy monitoring unit

Delaware’s first Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) offers hope to adults with seizure disorders. ChristianaCare’s EMU is equipped with special sensors and recording devices that a team of doctors, nurses and technicians will use to monitor patients in real time, 24 hours a day for up to five days. The data they collect will help them gain a better understanding of the source of seizures so they can develop a more effective treatment plan to manage them. The EMU offers comfortable, private rooms and special safety equipment.

Delivering on care and savings

ChristianaCare is a founding partner in eBrightHealth ACO, an accountable care organization that serves 50,000 regional Medicare beneficiaries from Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. In its first two years of operation, eBrightHealth ACO has improved quality of care and achieved cost savings of nearly $2 million.

Care coordination is provided by ChristianaCare’s award-winning care coordination program.