Published on October 17, 2022

Owensboro Health Earns Award For Delirium Prevention

Owensboro Health was recently awarded the 2022 NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) and ABIM Foundation Choosing Wisely®️ Trailblazer Award for improving delirium care. 

Delirium is a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of the environment. The start of delirium is usually rapid — within hours or a few days. It occurs in up to 25% of medical inpatients, 50% of surgery patients and 75% of intensive care patients, and can mean increased cognitive impairment, functional decline, increased length of stay, higher rates of transfer to a skilled nursing facility and higher rates of death.

Clinical educators at Owensboro Health have taken action to prevent or reduce the harm that can come to high-risk or delirium-positive patients by developing a Delirium Prevention Protocol. 

If a patient presents as high-risk or positive for delirium, the electronic healthcare record software (EPIC) will alert the care team to follow the Delirium Prevention Protocol. This protocol guides nurses through a set of actions that are proven to help combat delirium — such as frequent mobilization, nutrition adjustments, sensory orientation and family participation in care. 

This advancement in caring for older adults has been honored with NICHE’s 2022 Choosing Wisely®️ Trailblazer Award. With the mission to educate front-line nurses and to position nurses as leaders, NICHE works to advance systemic change to promote age-friendly healthcare. NICHE members consistently use evidence-based practices to care for older adults, and this award acknowledges those efforts. 

“This recognition shows our community we are committed to improving our care for older adults,” Ariel Ross, Owensboro Health Geriatric Clinical Program Specialist, said. “Delirium is a serious condition with devastating outcomes, and we’re so motivated to prevent it in our patients as much as possible so they can get back to what matters to them.” 

“I’m so grateful for all the hard work and collaboration from everyone on the Delirium Prevention (iDREAM) team that led to this recognition,” she said. “‘I look forward to all the work we’ll do to assure older adults in our community receive the best possible care.”

View the NICHE’s 2022 Choosing Wisely®️ Trailblazer Award.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 350 providers at more than 30 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a weight management program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have more than 19,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 33,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 150 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 90,000 Emergency Department visits and more than 1.25 million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.