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Monroe County Hospital, an Atrium Health Navicent Partner, Wins Patient Safety Award for Infection Prevention

Hospital recognized for achievement in improving patient safety and medical outcomes

The Georgia Hospital Association Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA) has presented a prestigious Patient Safety and Quality Award to Monroe County Hospital, an Atrium Health Navicent Partner, for a project demonstrating a reduced risk of contamination in the collection of blood cultures used to diagnose infection.

These annual awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.

“Patient safety and infection prevention are top priorities in Atrium Health Navicent’s ongoing mission to provide excellent health care for all,” said Atrium Health Navicent Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Sanford G. Duke. “We applaud the team at Monroe County Hospital for their work, and this much-deserved recognition.”

The project “Reducing Blood Culture Contamination: A Pathway for Blood Culture Diversion Devises,” won third place in the Critical Access Hospitals category.

Despite recent advancements in microbiological technologies, blood cultures remain the primary method of diagnosing blood stream infections. Although an effective diagnostic tool, the collection of blood cultures is associated with the risk of contamination. This contamination presents significant risk to the patient population, given that it leads to unnecessary medical procedures and increased cost of care.

Using a blood culture diversion device, the Monroe County Hospital team was able to reduce contaminated cultures to within 1 percent in just three months without negatively affecting other quality measures.

“This project is an example of how our teammates are innovating to better the now and to create the future while providing high-quality care close to home,” said Monroe County Hospital CEO Lorraine Smith. “Thanks to the Georgia Hospital Association for recognizing our team’s commitment to quality and patient safety.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent is part of Advocate Health, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit

About GHA

Founded in 1929, GHA serves nearly 150 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia’s citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association. The Partnership for Health and Accountability, an affiliate of GHA, was established in January 2000 to improve patient care and patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities and create healthy communities. For more information, please call 770-249-4500 or visit