Palmerton Hospital has received a pair of awards for its successful implementation of several tasks.

Quality Insights of PA presented the awards to the hospital as part of an awards program held Tuesday at the Palmerton campus.

At that time, the hospital received the Surgical Care Improvement Award for its successful implementation of best practices relating to the Surgical Care and Heart Failure Improvement Project.

Also, the hospital received the MRSA Reduction Award for its successful implementation of best practices regarding Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection reduction.

Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital in Lehighton will receive a certificate for their work in MRSA improvement as well.

Theresa Long, vice president of nursing, Blue Mountain Health System, said the staff at Palmerton Hospital is "incredibly committed to provide the highest level of surgical care."

Long said the hospital works with Quality Insights as part of a collaboration team of staff that is committed to "working together to reduce and eliminate surgical complications."

"We know that surgical complications can create larger levels of stress for our patients, and can be life-threatening," Long said. "It shows that Palmerton Hospital has demonstrated achievement in reducing surgical complications and infections."

Long said common complications include infections, blood clot formation, prevention of infection and blood clots postoperatively.

As for the MRSA Reduction Award, Long said Blue Mountain Health System has two "outstanding infection control practitioners at both campuses."

"We're very proud," she said. "I think nothing says it better than to receive it from an agency that recognizes the changes and improvements made."

Gnaden Huetten has continued to receive very high scores with the SCIP program since its inception, Long said.

"It's very hard to do what we've done," she said. "We're going to continue to look to raise the bar on care."

The awards program was sponsored by Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for the Commonwealth.

Quality Insights of Pennsylvania protects Medicare patient rights and works collaboratively with hospitals and other health care providers in Pennsylvania to assist them in their efforts to improve the quality of the care they deliver.