NORTHAMPTON – Donna G. Truesdell was hired recently as Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s quality improvement director. Truesdell, a master’s prepared nurse, board-certified in nursing staff development and continuing education, has 15 years of health care quality-improvement experience.
Truesdell broadly describes her new role at Cooley Dickinson as working with medical staff and employees to facilitate quality-improvement efforts. “The patient care at Cooley Dickinson is very good. We are striving to be the best in the nation for similar-sized hospitals,” she said.
Raising the bar of patient care involves analyzing the patient care at CDH and seeing how it compares to similar community hospitals natiowide, she said. “In the quality-improvement field, we are looking to model our care after the best practices that yield the best results.”
Going from theory to practice, Truesdell cites the example of CDH’s Emergency Department medical staff and employees who are working to improve care for pneumonia patients. “While emergency department staff follow protocols for treating patients with pneumonia, best practices for the patient’s health involve treating the pneumonia patient with intravenous antibiotics within four hours of admission to the hospital. We are measuring the percentage of CDH pneumonia patients who receive intravenous antibiotics within this time frame, examining the most important components of care, and determining how we can continue to make improvements.”
Truesdell most recently worked at Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.