Duke Medicine takes steps to keep patients and visitors safe this flu season

You may have noticed more people in our community are coming down with the flu this year than last. In fact, in just the last several weeks there has been a sharp rise in the number of patients visiting Duke hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms due to this illness.

The flu is easily and most often spread as a result of coughs, sneezes or simply talking. Believe it or not, a sneeze from one person with the flu can spread up to 20,000 flu germs into the air. In a situation several years ago, an airplane with a broken air filtering system was delayed on the ground for three hours. Even though only one passenger out of the 54 on board had the flu, within three days nearly three out of every four passengers were infected.

DSC_5590At Durham Regional Hospital and throughout Duke Medicine, the safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority. That’s why we’ve taken several important steps to help prevent the spread of the flu in our hospital and ensure everyone’s safety during what is proving to be a very busy flu season. While we realize these temporary steps may result in some inconvenience to family members and other visitors, we appreciate your understanding and support.

The steps put in place include the following:

  • Please limit visitors to two adults per patient at any one time. Limiting the number of visitors per patient will help control the spread of the illness.
  • Please do not bring your children on hospital visits. Since children are more likely to get sick and spread the flu, our staff will only allow children under 18 to visit patients in special cases or with prior approval from the patient’s healthcare team.
  • Please wash your hands frequently. Look for hand-washing stations around the hospital and use them often. Please make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving the hospital either by washing with soap or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer.
  • Please do not visit the hospital if you have symptoms of the flu. Signs of the flu include fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or sore throat.
  • If you haven’t already, get the flu vaccine. Getting this simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoid getting others sick.

If you forget some of these steps, don’t worry—our staff will give a gentle reminder to make sure we are all doing what we can to keep everyone as healthy as possible.

Together we can prevent the spread of the flu at Durham Regional and throughout Duke Medicine this season. Thanks again for your understanding and support.

Looking back on 2012

Earlier this year, Durham Regional started this blog to connect with the community—our friends and neighbors who we serve every day. Members of our dedicated team of healthcare professionals have worked to share news about Durham Regional, tips for healthy living and other information.

As we spend time this week and next reflecting on our accomplishments in 2012 and the opportunities that lay ahead, take a look at this year’s top five articles.

  1. Women's Services at Durham Regional HospitalTime is brain
  2. FAQ about breastfeeding
  3. Finding the right car seat for your little one
  4. What does smoking do to the body?
  5. Durham Regional ranked among the best hospitals in NC

Thank you for your support this year. We look forward to continuing to care for our patients and their loved ones in 2013 and beyond.

43 physicians from Durham Regional named to 2013 Best Doctors in America list

physician in white coatForty-three physicians affiliated with Durham Regional Hospital appear on the Best Doctors in America® list for 2013. Only five percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor, decided by impartial peer review.

“We are extremely proud of our expert physicians at Durham Regional,” says Barbara Griffith, MD, chief medical officer. “Their dedication and compassion to improving the lives of patients is remarkable. We couldn’t achieve success as a hospital without them.”

The highly regarded Best Doctors in America list, assembled by Best Doctors, Inc., results from exhaustive polling of over 47,000 physicians in the United States. Doctors in 45 specialties and over 400 subspecialties of medicine appear on this year’s List. In a confidential review, current physician listees answer the question, “If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer?” Best Doctors, Inc. evaluates the review results, and verifies all additional information to meet detailed inclusion criteria.  

The experts who are part of the Best Doctors in America® database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions – often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment. Durham Regional’s group of experts listed in the database includes world-class specialists in orthopaedic surgery, cardiovascular disease and obstetrics and gynecology.

Durham Regional awarded an “A” for patient safety

ADurham Regional has been awarded an “A” for safety by independent national nonprofit the Leapfrog Group.

Nothing is more important than patients’ quality of care and their safety. This recognition demonstrates Durham Regional’s dedication to providing the best—and safest—care for every patient, every time. It also demonstrates an effort to be transparent with quality and safety measures, which help the public understand what the hospital is doing to continually improve care.

The “A” score was awarded in the latest update to the Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score list, which issues grades A-F to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections. The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of patient safety experts and is designed to provide information the public can use to choose where to receive medical care.

To produce a single score representing a hospital’s performance, the Leapfrog Group’s rating system uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, including data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the American Hospital Association’s annual survey.

Learn more about Durham Regional’s Hospital Safety Score.

2012: A year of accomplishments

2012 Annual ReportFiscal year 2012 was exciting for Durham Regional. The hospital recently published its Annual Report for fiscal year 2012, which highlights the ways in which our team of healthcare professionals aims to provide the best care for every patient, every time and the impact of our efforts in the community.

Thank you for your continued support!

To read Durham Regional Hospital’s 2012 Annual Report, visit durhamregional.org/about or download a PDF.