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VOL. 39 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 10, 2015

Covenant Hospitals tops in patient safety

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Covenant Health Hospitals has received high marks for patient safety in a recent national survey.

Fort Loudoun Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Methodist Medical Center, Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System and Parkwest Medical Center all earned an ‘A’ grade in the Spring 2015 Hospital Safety Score, conducted by The Leapfrog Group.

The Safety Score rates how well hospitals protect patients from “preventable medical errors, injuries and infections’’ while at the hospital.

Both Methodist Medical Center and Parkwest Medical Center received “Straight As,” signifying that the hospitals have never received a grade lower than “A” since the survey began in 2012.

“Patient safety is an ongoing priority for our health system,” said Jim VanderSteeg, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Covenant Health. “Measurement against national benchmarks is both helpful and important for improving safety, and The Hospital Safety Score is one way for us to monitor progress in this area.

Knoxville’s Sunday bus service to expand

Knoxville Area Transit has received approval to upgrade its Sunday service.

The Knoxville Transportation Authority has approved a budget request for extended hours and additional routes.

Operations should begin Aug. 24.

The $273,000 approved budget request also includes an expansion of hours at the Customer Service Counter at Knoxville Station.

Bus service on Sunday will begin at 8:15 a.m. and have a final trip from downtown at 8:15 p.m. This extends the current Sunday routes – Kingston Pike, Broadway, Magnolia and Chapman Highway – an additional four hours. In addition, Route 12 – Western Avenue and Route 20 – Central Avenue will begin operating on Sundays.

Dead fish found in creek after derailment

MARYVILLE (AP) – Environmental officials are asking Maryville residents to avoid a creek where dead fish were found after a CSX train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire.

Biologists who were installing a water treatment system found the fish in Culton Creek, according to WATE-TV.

They believe the fish may have died at least two days ago, close to the time of the train accident on Friday. The car that derailed contained liquid acrylonitrile, a hazardous material used in multiple industrial processes including making plastics.

Officials say it’s unclear if the train fire killed the fish, but they’ve issued a public advisory to avoid the creek to be safe.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

Knoxville works to improve urban forest

Knoxville has unveiled its first Urban Forestry Progress report.

“Knoxville has made many strides in recent years in improving our urban forest,” said Kasey Krouse, the City’s Urban Forester. “I think it is important to address those accomplishments but also provide an update for what we need to do moving forward.”

“The management of urban forest resources is a dynamic and fluid process,” Krouse said. “Throughout the year, we will be continually updating policies and action items necessary to reflect the efforts of the Urban Forestry Division.”

Among the milestones in the report:

• A comprehensive tree canopy study in 2014.

• The planting of 565 trees in 2014 planting and the expected to planting of 552 trees during this year.

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