WEIRTON - Weirton Medical Center recently was recognized for its quality of care by the Highmark West Virginia Hospital QualityBlue Pay for Performance Program.
The program challenges hospitals to raise standards for quality and efficiency in patient care delivery, according to officials.
A Highmark official told Weirton Medical Center that the efforts in the past year "demonstrate a commitment to advancing a culture of quality and patient safety for your patients, families and communities you serve."
Weirton Medical Center was recognized for its quality programs in surgical safety and perinatal care.
The surgical safety initiative involved the promotion of safe practices during the perioperative period and the use of evidence-based practices, including the appropriate selection and timing of antibiotics and the incorporation of the World Health Organization's safety checklist.
The initiative's goal was to eliminate surgical site infections and provide better outcomes for the patient.
Perinatal care was aimed at eliminating elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks' gestation. This provides safer care for the mother and the baby. The initiative is based on the Institutes for Healthcare Improvement's idealized design for perinatal care.
"We are delighted to have been recognized by Highmark for our quality initiatives in these areas," said Charles M. O'Brien Jr., Weirton Medical Center's chief executive officer. "This recognition is the result of the excellent dedication and teamwork by our physicians, clinical staff and managers."
Pay for Performance is a concept developed by insurers to pay hospitals based on their performance in meeting certain quality criteria. Highmark has been operating the QualityBlue program for 11 years and has said that it will become a primary method of reimbursing hospitals for patient care in coming years.
Calendar year 2012 will be Weirton Medical Center's second year participating in the Highmark QualityBlue program.