Members of the team on hand to accept the award (l – r): Merry Enright, Nurse Manager, Clinic; Cheryl Peterson, Operations Improvement Manager; Marti Bollman, VP of Primary Care and Wellness; Daniel Parker, MD, Internal Medicine Physician; E. Allen Beguin, MD, Family Medicine Physician; and Rachelle Schultz, EdD, President and CEO.

Winona Health’s Conservative Management Clinic has earned a Minnesota Hospital Association Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Award.

Winona Health developed the Conservative Management Clinic to increase safety, improve care, and decrease the risk of accidental overdose and medications getting into the wrong hands. After research and planning, Winona Health launched the Conservative Management Clinic in the fall of 2015.

In the Conservative Management Clinic, and now throughout Winona Health’s primary care clinics, if a medical professional determines opioids are needed, they use prescribing guidelines, giving patients the lowest dose for effective treatment. The staff educates patients about the addictive risks associated with opioids, while providing information about alternative pain management options including cognitive, physical and behavioral therapy and alternatives.

Allen Beguin, MD, Family Medicine, said, “In addition to improving safety, we’ve helped people improve their quality of life by helping them become less dependent on medications that may have negative side effects.”

After working with the Conservative Management staff and tapering back some of his medication, Glen, a conservative Management Clinic client, said, “My attitude has entirely changed. I feel 20 years younger, and I can do things again. They understand my condition and have changed my life immensely.”

Minnesota Hospital Association awards honor innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health care. The award was announced at MHA’s 34th annual awards ceremony on Friday, June 1. Criteria for the Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Award included: Promoting a culture of safety; providing data at all levels for continuous improvement; and demonstrated engagement of patients and families throughout organization.

For more information about the Conservative Management Clinic, call 507.454.3680.

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