Hill Country Memorial Receives Bill Aston Award For Quality From Texas Hospital Association

Honored in the rural category for hospital’s Initiative to reduce opioid use



Aisha Ainsworth, 512/465-1511

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(AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 22, 2019) The Texas Hospital Association awarded the Bill Aston Award for Quality in the rural category to Hill Country Memorial (HCM) in Fredericksburg. Orthopedic surgeon Clint R. Beicker, MD, accepted the award on behalf of Hill Country Memorial on Feb. 22 at the 2019 THA Annual Conference and Expo in Austin.

The THA Bill Aston Award for Quality honors a hospital’s measurable success in improving quality and patient outcomes through the sustained implementation of a national and/or state evidence-based patient care initiative.

“When THA analyzed the success of Hill Country Memorial’s opioid-reduction project, we knew the Bill Aston Award would be a good way to recognize their efforts in an issue that is so important to hospitals in Texas and across the country,” said Ted Shaw, THA president and CEO.

As part of their efforts to reduce opioid use following total hip or knee replacement surgery, Hill Country Memorial initiated a task force consisting of a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pharmacists, care coordinators and home health representatives, among others. While the program mitigated exposure to opioid risk, their efforts additionally improved care by utilizing new practices.

Patient hospital stays were reduced to 1.6 days, and patients using fewer opioid drugs are more alert and responsive and are better able to participate in physical therapy, thanks to Hill Country Memorial’s new protocols. In addition, the hospital received 99 percent patient satisfaction scores since the reduced opioid pain control measures were implemented.

Opioid use was carefully tracked, and the data studiously reported and analyzed. Protocols were altered based on the metrics, and the hospital found that reducing the quantity of opioids prescribed to patients improved patient care and improved clinical outcomes.

Hill Country Memorial CEO, Jayne Pope, said, “The benefits we’re seeing as a result of our program are substantial, and this award serves as recognition of the coordinated efforts and dedication to quality of care from each member of the HCM team.”


About THA
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members’ abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents 452 of the state’s non-federal general and specialty hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 400,000 health care professionals statewide. Learn more about THA at www.tha.org or follow THA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/texashospitals.