Administrative Director of Pulmonary Services Mickey Whatley BS, RRT, RCP, and Clinical Informatics Analysis/Diagnostic Supervisor Georgia Cochran BS, RRT, RCT, display the 2015 COPD Top Performer Award along with a check representing the total savings of Vizient MidSouth’s Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Collaborative. On April 20, 2016, South Georgia Medical Center was named a COPD Top Performer at the Vizient MidSouth’s Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Collaborative held in Macon, Georgia. According to the American Lung Association, COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.SGMC was recognized as a COPD Top-Performer after participating in a year-long process where 12 member organizations exchanged knowledge and ideas through group meetings, webinars, conference calls and online portals and forums. Participants covered topics of evidenced-based GOLD Guidelines, patient education programs, treatment options, partnerships with community resources and transition care models.During the program SGMC reduced COPD readmissions by nearly 40 percent and average length of stay by over half a day, resulting in approximately $300,000 in cost savings. “This is another example of the continuing education and process improvements that take place behind the scenes to ensure that the delivery of bedside care is the most efficient and effective it can be,” said Laura Love, Director of Community Relations.Vizient is a membership alliance for not-for-profit health care providers that exists to help its members deliver cost-effective care by connecting them with the knowledge, solutions and expertise that accelerate performance. Vizient provided site-visits and follow-up coaching calls to help participants create a process flow map, identify and prioritize key areas that had the greatest impact on clinical outcomes, efficiencies and financial value, and develop an action plan to stay on track.Members submitted data and documented value resulting in three top performers: South Georgia Medical Center, Tift Regional Health System, and WellStar Cobb Hospital.