SGMC’s Hospital Hero Honoree DeKoya Wallace, Laboratory Director Angela Robinson, and Phlebotomy Manager Christina Okuma
The Hospital Authority of Valdosta Lowndes County presented DeKoya Wallace with January’s Hospital Hero award. Wallace is the Phlebotomy Coordinator for South Georgia Medical Center’s Laboratory and spearheaded an initiative that resulted in patient care improvement and significant cost savings to the health system.
The Blood Culture Contamination Pilot Program reduced SGMC’s blood contamination rate to 1.6 percent, the lowest reported rate since data collection, and well below the acceptable rate of 3 percent. When performing a blood draw, the new process separates the portion of blood with the skin plug (which can be contaminated), from the blood to be studied.
Not only does this save the lab time and costs from not working up contaminated cultures, it can reduce a patient’s length of stay and prevent unnecessary antibiotics.
According to SGMC Director of Laboratory Services Angela Robinson, “This is a very significant accomplishment and an outstanding patient safety initiative.”
Wallace has been with SGMC for seven years.