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AGH Gets Good Marks in National Study of Pain Control

In November 2011, AGH participated as a pilot site in the second phase of a national research study focused on the quality of care provided for patients who had experienced pain within the last 24 hours. The study was sponsored by the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI).

The report for the second phase of the study shows that Atlantic General Hospital’s patients trust their nurses when it comes to pain management, with 100 percent of patients surveyed stating that they felt their nurses believed them when they described the level of their pain. The national average was 79 percent. AGH also surpassed the national average for the percentage of patients who felt the medication they received worked well to control their pain.

“This is what research is all about - studying data so that we can continue to do what we do well and always seek to better our practice for improved nursing outcomes,” said Colleen Wareing, vice president of patient care services. “This data really targets our strengths and areas we might be able to improve upon for the effective management of our patients’ pain.”

Atlantic General has reported consistently positive data for the study in both phases.
As a result of Atlantic General’s performance in the first phase, the hospital’s nursing staff was asked to submit their pain assessment tools to be included in an online tool kit for best practices in pain management.

The goal of the flow sheet AGH submitted is to provide nursing staff with “user-friendly” tools that are effective and efficient in assessing pain, associated interventions, and safety, as well as monitoring response to analgesia. Vital signs, pain status, and sedation are included along with assessment scales and criteria for when to call the physician. The assessment of patients’ pain is always a priority at AGH and pain is reassessed on an ongoing basis.

About the NDNQI Pain Care Quality Research Study
This initiative is part of the Pain Care Quality project, a partnership of the University of Utah’s College of Nursing and the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. NDNQI’s mission is to aid the registered nurse in patient safety and quality improvement efforts by providing research-based national comparative data on nursing care and the relationship to patient outcomes.

About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) Counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md. combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 25 primary care provider and specialist offices, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit