DeKalb Medical Begins Daily Safety Briefings

safetyIn an effort to contribute to a culture of safety, DeKalb Medical has implemented ‘Daily Safety Briefings’. These briefings are widely used by organizations with high reliability. The briefings are led by senior leaders at each facility, where we can identify patient and staff safety issues from the past 24 hours and the upcoming 24 hours.

“These Safety Briefings will allow us to create awareness across the organization. They  will also help to build teamwork through communication and cooperative problem solving. From a patient safety perspective, they will help to ensure common understanding of the focus and priorities for the day,” says Sharon Mawby, VP Patient Care Services & CNO.

Briefings are held Monday through Friday for fifteen minutes on each campus. Hospital senior leaders, managers and key team members attend this daily briefing.







Atlanta Bone and Joint Offering Same Day Discharge to Hip and Knee Replacement For Patients Who Qualify

bone and joint

Nathan Jové, M.D. at Atlanta Bone & Joint Specialists is now performing outpatient total joint replacement with same day discharge for those patients posed for success. This type of outpatient surgery discharge depends on several variables. Patients should be mentally, physically and environmentally prepared for surgery in order to qualify for same day discharge.

“The best patients, eligible for same day discharge, are those with few co-morbidities, who are active and have supporting family and friends to be able to care for them for the first few days after surgery.  Managing expectations is absolutely imperative.” said Dr. Jove.

While some of these patients are younger and more motivated to do well from home, older patients have seen excellent results. Being prepared for same day discharge means doing as much as you can before the procedure to set yourself up for a fester and easier recovery.  The patients will be in physical therapy post operative day one.  The patients also will be discharged on aspirin and DVT prophylactic pumps, which is now a standard of care accepted by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Dr. Jové uses a medication prior to surgery to help reduce bleeding, tourniquetless surgery to prevent thigh pain, and a pain injection made of multiple medications that significantly decreases pain post-operatively.  Dekalb Medical uses a long acting medication, Exparel, to aid with post-operative pain and it has had excellent success for the outpatient total joint replacement patients.  Patients typically also get a spinal anesthetic, which reduces post-operative grogginess and nausea, which can severely limit progress on the day of surgery.

“While same day discharge is an excellent option for those patients who are appropriate candidates, we will not discharge anyone who is not ready or if it isn’t safe to do so. Our coordinated effort with all involved parties will ensure a safe and successful outcome,” said Matt Glogowski, Joint Care Program Manager.

Although outpatient surgery is more hands-off than inpatient, the care team will check-in via telephone with a patient and a physical therapist will see them in the outpatient setting the next day. Patients also receive extensive post-op education and tools to monitor and propel their own recovery.

While the Joint Solutions Center has a high patient satisfaction rate, a shorter hospital stay may equal even greater patient satisfaction.

Learn more about outpatient total joints at



Task Force Forms to Address Black / White Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality

Atlanta experienced the largest increase in the Black / White disparity in breast cancer mortality among the 50 largest cities in the country, according to data collected from 2010-2014 by the Avon Foundation. The report issued in October 2016 urged a city-by-city focus to dive into the underlying causes of the disparities and develop action plans to address them.   Primary care physicians and OB-GYN physicians are, in many cases, in a unique and vital position to assist in addressing this issue because you are at the point of entrance to breast care for many patients.

The Greater Atlanta Breast Cancer Task Force is a new group striving to develop an action plan to address disparities in Atlanta.   Sisters By Choice (SBC), is one of the organizations involved in this effort, but the hope is for a broad array of providers to come together for solutions they can all implement.  The task force is considering providing information from local and national experts for primary care and OB-GYN physicians in the form of a seminar and would like assess the level of interest from you prior to planning this comprehensive program. Tentatively the seminar will be held on a Saturday at the Georgia Pacific Auditorium in downtown Atlanta.  CMEs will be provided by MAG Mutual and there will be no cost to attend.

If you are interested in attending such a seminar, please complete this survey. .

Thank you for helping to address this urgent and critical matter!

DeKalb Medical Cancer Support Group Featured on Fox5 News


Channel 5 news reporters came out to the DeKalb Medical  recently to do a story on our Treehouse Gang, a support group that Rose McKeever and the cancer center has offered for 24 years for children of adults being treated for cancer.  Normally, a new story is a minute or less but the reporter was so impressed by what she saw.

The group meets three consecutive Thursday nights every quarter. For more information contact Rose McKeever at 404.501.5701

Check out the story here:

Emergency Departments Experience Intense Flu Activity

flu season

The Emergency Departments at North Decatur and Hillandale have experienced intense flu activity. According to Infection Prevention Manager, Jennifer Shankweiler, MSN RN CIC, the North Decatur ED has seen a total of 456 patients with 107 admitted and Hillandale has seen a total of 684 patients with 52 patients being admitted (from January through February 7). This year, it is expected that the flu season will last through May.

Also, we have received media attention about the widespread flu. Here are two news reports from NBC nightly news: 

Flu is widespread in 49 states 

Federal health officials say this flu season is the worse in nearly a decade

How to find the best price for your flu meds


When the Clinician Becomes the Patient and the Workplace Becomes the Place for Care

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Paul Olander and Meredith Hardie, Exercise Physiologist Lead in the Heart Wellness Center.
paul and t
Paul Olander and Ken Toussaint, Wellness Coach and Fitness Tech in the Wellness Center.

My Healthcare Journey: Paul Olander

Paul Olander, Director of Behavioral Health & Palliative Care Services, had been in DeKalb Medical’s Emergency Department (ED) many times visiting patients, but shortness of breath one night last June meant a trip to the ED as a patient. Tests showed that Paul had fluid around his heart and after having a cardiac catheter inserted at DeKalb Medical, he was tranferred to St Joseph’s for open heart surgery. Later in November, Paul would also have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) installed at Emory. Dr. Richard Coralli coordinated all of Paul’s care and suggested he participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Paul chose DeKalb Medical’s program over larger programs because of its convenience and engaging staff.

Paul’s experience is that the excellent care he received from physicians, nurses and staff at DeKalb Medical and St. Joseph’s put him in a position where the DeKalb Medical Cardiac Rehab team could help him regain his full health and functioning in his life.

Paul is considered a heart wellness patient who has completed all three phases of the program. The first phase is having a heart episode and/or surgery. The second phase is 36 sessions on cardiac rehab machines with a heart monitor and staff supervision. During this phase, staff discovered Paul’s optimal heart performance, then gradually worked up to improve Paul’s heart function. The third phase, also known as Exercise is Medicine, is continuing with workouts. In Paul’s case this is two times a week with Wellness Coach/trainer Ken Toussaint. Paul has taken it a step farther and has added additional training sessions with Akiko Jones and even more cardio.

Paul reports that his heart episode has guided him into better lifestyle habits. He is still taking medications, but physically, he feels better than he has in decades.

“Now I’m not too busy to exercise anymore,” says Paul. “Prior to my heart episode, I would work long hours and neglect good nutrition or healthy sleep.”

Even though Paul is a DeKalb Medical staff person, he does not think the cardiac rehabilitation team and Wellness Center staff have shown him preferential treatment. Paul has observed that they treat all their patients with the same respect and support he has received.

“They are welcoming and make exercise fun,” Paul says. “As the name says, the Wellness Center is interested in an individual’s wellness.” The Wellness Center was the first medically-certified fitness center in Georgia, receiving its Medical Fitness Accreditation in 2017.



Coming Soon: Foundation to Unveil New Donor Recognition

At DeKalb Medical, we rely on the generous support of our donors to help us better care for our community. We appreciate your patience as we update our lobby wall at the North Decatur campus to recognize the donors who support our organization. We are grateful to all of you who make a difference at DeKalb Medical.

Our Founders’ Circle Giving Club and Corporate Honor Roll are exclusive societies of philanthropists who ensure we are able to provide superior care for our patients at DeKalb Medical. Membership is open to all individuals, couples, family foundations and privately held corporations that contribute cumulative gifts of $10,000 or more to DeKalb Medical.

PEACH (Partnering Employees Actively Committed to Healthcare) is our employee giving program. Each year, more than 60 percent of our employees choose to give back to the hospital—enabling them to see the difference their gifts make every day.

Construction began mid-January and the entire project will be completed by Feb. 23, 2018.

Contact Elisabeth Nark, Executive Director, at 404-501-1344 or for more information.