Recent recognition by an internationally renowned program assures patients and physicians at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer are offered the area’s best endoscopy services, said Laurel Pritchard, the hospital’s practice manager and endoscopy charge nurse.
The Endoscopy Unit Recognition designation came in April from the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy following a stringent, eight-month-long application and evaluation process that involved meeting quality measures, setting policies, implementing innovations and demonstrating excellence in patient care, outcomes and in other areas.
Pritchard said Franciscan St. Margaret-Dyer’s is the only in-hospital outpatient program in Lake County that has the received the recognition. Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City and its Woodland Health Center have the only such designations in Porter and LaPorte counties. Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond also is working to achieve the status, Pritchard said.
She coordinated the Franciscan St. Margaret-Dyer application and evaluation process, with assistance from supervisors, staff and John Kniaz, D.O., unit medical director.
The recognition, said Pritchard, shows the hospital is dedicated to the highest-quality care.
“Patients know they are in the best of hands and physicians can come to us knowing we follow the toughest quality standards. It’s all about patient safety.”
As part of the process, each of unit’s gastroenterologists was scrutinized for five quality measures that were tracked and reported. Besides Dr. Kniaz, they included Mark Efrusy, D.O.; Joel Cahan, M.D.; Praveen Nallapareddy, M.D.; Gene Chang, M.D.; and Gloria Buentello, M.D.
The recognition, according to Pritchard, also shows that quality indicators are continually measured and evaluated.
“Those include patient assessment and satisfaction, adverse event tracking and specific data concerning colonoscopy -- including percentage of, and detection of, precancerous polyps -- which is crucial for early detection of cancer and lower morbidity rates for our patients,” she said.
Photo: Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer Endoscopy Unit members include (from left), Ingrid Hanna, operating room technician; Laurel Pritchard, hospital practice manager and endoscopy charge nurse; John Kniaz, D.O., unit medical director; Nancy Markovich, operating room technician; and Ellie Camer and Kay Pukoszek, registered nurses.