New Outpatient Services and Preoperative Clinic opens Oct. 1

Durham Regional’s new Outpatient Services and Preoperative Clinic opens Monday, October 1. Located on the south side of the hospital, this area features dedicated parking, registration and waiting areas in a single location.

Our outpatient services include mammography, MRI and X-ray; stress testing and neurosensory diagnostic testing; laboratory services and preoperative procedures.

Learn more about the Outpatient Services and Preoperative Clinic at durhamregional.org/outpatient.

Patients who have outpatient appointments on or after October 1 should go to the new facility. Check out the map below as you plan your visit to Durham Regional.

New entrance, fresh perspective, amazing care

Going to the hospital can be stressful for patients and their loved ones. At Durham Regional, we’re committed to giving you peace of mind, so we’ve centered our new Outpatient Services and Preoperative Clinic around you.

If you’ve visited Durham Regional, you probably know the way to the main entrance: park in the visitor’s lot, enter the main lobby and ask the person at the information desk how to find your destination. The process is used by most medical facilities nationwide, but we thought it could be improved for people coming for outpatient and preoperative services, and we found a way to do it.

“Before, whether you were coming in for a mammogram, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or preoperative screening, you would enter the hospital on the third floor, be directed to the second floor, wait in one waiting area to register, then follow someone to another waiting area to be checked in,” explains Brian Williams, MHA, director of business and operational planning at Durham Regional. “We wanted to develop a process where patients could check in quickly and get the services they came for.”

Find the complete article in Your Health. Published three times a year, Your Health provides health and wellness information and features interviews with Durham Regional Hospital physicians and other medical professionals on a variety of health topics, as well as helpful tips and recipes.

To learn more about Durham Regional’s new Outpatient Services and Preoperative Clinic, visit durhamregional.org/outpatient.

Durham Regional named a Top Performer by the Joint Commission

Kerry Watson
President

Durham Regional Hospital has been named among 620 hospitals nationwide for its exemplary performance on specific quality measures during the 2011 calendar year. As one of The Joint Commission’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures, Durham Regional places in the top 18 percent of the 3,376 eligible hospitals in the United States that report performance data to the nation’s leading accreditor of healthcare organizations.

To earn the designation, a hospital must achieve a score of 95 percent or above for its composite performance score and on each individual area that comprises its assessment. Each accountability measure represents an evidence-based practice—for example, giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients and giving antibiotics one hour before surgery. Durham Regional was recognized for its use of evidence-based clinical processes for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

We understand what matters most to our patients and their loved ones is high-quality, safe care. The Joint Commission’s Top Performer distinction highlights our team’s commitment to delivering the best care for every patient, every time—which includes using evidence-based approaches to provide positive patient outcomes—and encourages progress toward achieving our vision of becoming the best community hospital in North Carolina.

In addition to being included in the Joint Commission’s Improving America’s Hospitals annual report, Durham Regional will be recognized on the Joint Commission’s Quality Check website at qualitycheck.org. The Top Performer program will also be featured in October’s Joint Commission: The Source and November’s Joint Commission Perspectives.

Visit durhamregional.org to learn more about Durham Regional Hospital.

Durham Regional named one of the Most Connected Hospitals in the U.S.

Robert Lineberger, MD
Chief Medical Information Officer

Durham Regional Hospital has a long history of using technology to improve patient care and safety. Recently, the hospital was recognized as one of the Most Connected Hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Only 156 hospitals nationwide received this honor.

USNWR developed the list of Most Connected Hospitals to highlight institutions that are both  clinically excellent and advanced in using electronic health information technology. USNWR defines a hospital as Most Connected if that hospital has qualified for federal meaningful use funding, achieved Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytic’s top grades for electronic medical record (EMR) adoption and earned either a national Best Hospital or Best Children’s Hospital ranking or a high-performing designation in one or more medical specialties.

Durham Regional’s achievement is the result of successful collaboration between technical experts and clinicians from a wide variety of disciplines. We will continue to work to optimize the benefits of technology even as we plan for the transition to a single electronic health record across Duke University Health System.

HIMSS recognizes health care organizations that have effectively adopted electronic medical records. Stage 7 is the highest designation awarded by the HIMSS. Only hospitals at Stages 6 or 7 as of July 10 were eligible to appear on the Most Connected Hospitals list.

Durham Regional is currently at Stage 6, meaning physicians can enter medical orders into a computer system that goes directly to pharmacy, laboratory, radiology or another department to fulfill the order. Physicians can also electronically document their clinical interactions with patients and access and review images such as CT scans or mammograms from any secure workstation.

According to HIMSS, only about 1.2 percent of U.S. hospitals are considered Stage 7 and 5.2 percent at Stage 6. The complete rankings and methodology for the Most Connected Hospitals are available at health.usnews.com/best-hospitals.

USNWR also ranked Durham Regional fifth in North Carolina out of 147 hospitals, third out of 19 hospitals in the Raleigh-Durham metro area and a high performer in nine specialties.

A look at Durham Regional’s Cath Lab and cardiac care

Joanne Carey
Cardiovascular Registries Coordinator

When EMS brings a patient to our Emergency Department with concerns for a heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction, the doctors and nurses spring into action. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is taken of the heart to see the heart rhythm. This test is key to determining how severe the heart attack is and its location in the heart. The care team also draws several tubes of blood and notes blood pressure and pulse.

Keep your heart healthy!Based on the ECG, the patient may transfer to our Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab, where a cardiologist and staff insert a catheter into the blocked heart artery through the large artery in the groin area. This allows a small sterile balloon to be inserted into the area of blockage and then inflated to improve the flow of oxygen rich blood. The doctor may also place a sterile stent, a small mesh of wire similar to scaffolding, that will keep the newly inflated artery propped open. The goal is to increase blood flow into the affected area of the heart in less than 90 minutes, at which point the heart muscle can begin to die from lack of oxygen. The damaged area then begins to heal into scar tissue.

While at Durham Regional, patients discuss with their doctor factors that contributed to heart disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, exercise levels, smoking and weight. Doctors may recommend lifestyle changes to improve the patient’s health; new medicines to help the heart pump more effectively, lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure or a combination of lifestyle changes and medications.

Patients are discharged to home usually in two to three days. After a few weeks, they can enter a cardiac rehabilitation program to learn about nutrition, methods to stop smoking and exercise to improve heart health. These programs are supervised by trained cardiac rehab nurses and therapists.

Durham Regional’s Cardiac Cath Lab is available 24/7 for heart emergencies, and we have an accredited cardiac rehab program to guide your recovery. Our cardiology team has consistently been recognized by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Foundation for sustained excellence in meeting guidelines for acute myocardial infarction timeliness and therapies.

To learn more about our heart services, visit durhamregional.org/heart.

Is it “baby blues” or postpartum depression?

Ellen Byars
Clinical Nurse I
, Unit 4-3 Mother/Baby

Women's Services at Durham Regional HospitalThe birth of a baby can inspire many new and wonderful feelings. In some cases, unexpected feelings of depression may arise. Postpartum depression affects many women after childbirth. They may feel emotional and experience the “baby blues,” crying spells or mood swings shortly after giving birth.

So what’s the difference between “baby blues” and postpartum depression, you ask? Postpartum depression is longer lasting and more severe in nature. Beyond feeling emotional and gloomy, lack of interest in caring for the newborn and oneself may be present. In some cases, thoughts of harming oneself or the baby may arise.

The key to diagnosing and treating postpartum depression is in speaking with a healthcare provider sooner rather than later. At Durham Regional, our experienced care team screens all postpartum mothers for postpartum depression before they are discharged home. Mothers should still contact their providers if depression arises when they get home as most postpartum depression crops up in the weeks following childbirth.

Women may feel ashamed for feeling the way they do and put off getting help until the depression becomes unbearable. Thanks to more literature on the matter and vocal celebrities like Alanis Morissette and Brooke Shields, postpartum depression has become less stigmatized and more normalized as treatable and something about which to NOT feel ashamed. Getting help soon after feelings of depression arise allows providers to work quickly in treating moms and ultimately provides a better, happier outcome for mom, baby and the family.

For information about the Birth Place at Durham Regional Hospital, visit our Website.

Durham Regional provides a smoke-free environment

Durham Regional Hospital is committed to providing an environment that ensures the health and well-being of our patients, their loved ones and each other. Earlier this year we celebrated our fifth anniversary of being a tobacco-free campus. All tobacco products are prohibited on Durham Regional property, including parking lots and sidewalks.

To further protect public health and welfare, the Durham County Board of Health has adopted a rule by ordinance of the Durham County Board of Commissioners. This ordinance, which became effective August 1, names a number of public areas in the City and County of Durham where smoking is prohibited. City and county grounds (including athletic fields, bus stops, parks and playgrounds), hospital grounds, public transportation, sidewalks and other public areas are smoke-free under this ordinance.

This means in addition to the Durham Regional campus being tobacco-free, smoking is prohibited on all county property surrouding the hospital, including the City of Medicine Academy, Durham County Stadium and all adjacent sidewalks. Our employees, physicians, patients and visitors may not smoke anywhere on the Durham Regional campus or these adjacent areas. Violators may be subject to a county fine of up to $50 per infraction.

Quitting tobacco is not easy, but there are many ways to find help.

  • Attend Fresh Start, Durham County’s free quit smoking class. For information, call 919-560-7765.
  • Call Quitline NC at 800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about quitting, and gain the support of family and friends.

For information about the new ordinance, visit Durham County’s website or call the Durham County Health Department at 919-560-7600.