Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) signed up in 2015 to participate in the Colorado Hospital Association's "Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative," a two-year effort focused on increasing the appropriate treatment for urinary tract infections and skin and soft tissue infections by correctly prescribing antibiotics.
While antibiotics are an essential tool for fighting bacterial infections, when they are used indiscriminately or for too long, they can destroy all good bacteria in a patient's intestines, leaving the patient at risk for developing Clostridium difficile (C. diffficile). Antibiotic overuse has led to the evolution of more antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or "superbugs," that are surfacing in health care facilities around the world.
Elaine Sakala, RN, infection control, employee health and risk manager for DCMH, is leading the participation in this program. She is focused on all departments in the hospital and admitted patients. "We have learned a lot from this program and are already starting to see improvements in the amount of antibiotics prescribed and the duration for which they are prescribed," said Sakala. "We know that this is a difficult change to make, but we are committed to this process because we know it will reduce the exposure to antibiotics for our patients."
DCMH is one of 26 hospitals from around Colorado participating in the CHA Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative and is committed to making appropriate changes to these clinical practices to improve patient safety. Clinical staff from DCMH have participated in numerous webinars, site visits and meetings to learn from national experts and colleagues about this issue.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.