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WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital named Center of Excellence in Surgical Safety

February 8th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), has named WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital (PVH) a Center of Excellence in Surgical Safety: Prevention of RSI.

“We are very proud that our perioperative team dedicated themselves to achieving this designation,” said Kendra Thayer, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer at PVH. “It speaks to the level of care one can expect at PVH, and to the fact that this staff works very hard, every day, to provide the best care possible. The work the staff put in to gain this designation was significant; we are very proud to share this certification with the communities we serve.”

This three-year certification program recognizes Potomac Valley Hospital and its surgical staff for their commitment to reducing the risk of surgical errors as well as their commitment to the highest levels of patient safety. Completion of the comprehensive, evidence-based program provides advancement in the prevention of near misses and the consequences of unintentionally retained surgical items (RSI). RSIs refer to any surgical sponge, instrument, tool, or device that is unintentionally left in a patient at the completion of a surgery or other procedure. Unintentional RSIs have been identified as an error of concern in surgical procedures by the Joint Commission.  

“The AORN Center of Excellence in Surgical Safety certification shows the hard work and dedication of the OR team at PVH. The staff did a wonderful job meeting the standards required by the AORN,” says Stephanie Kidwell, perioperative manager. “We strive to achieve excellence in all that we do to ensure that patient safety is always put first. This prestigious and hard-won certification reflects that.”

PVH is among some of the first facilities to earn the designation as a Center of Excellence in Surgical Safety: Prevention of RSI. The intensive AORN program uses immersive technology and scenarios to train surgical teams in preventing RSIs. In addition, it also uses analysis and quality improvement to enhance patient safety.

Potomac Valley Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital in Keyser, West Virginia. The hospital serves the community of Mineral County, West Virginia and surrounding areas. PVH officially became a member of the West Virginia University Health System in 2014. PVH provides inpatient and outpatient care, including 24/7 Emergency Department services. PVH employs more than 250 healthcare professionals, including over 50 physicians, who are dedicated to our mission of striving to treat every patient like family.