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Owatonna Hospital

Patient care concerns

To contact the patient representative ,
call 507-977-2650.

We are committed to providing safe and quality care to all patients served. If you feel the services provided have in any way compromised patient safety or not met accepted quality of care standards, please contact our patient representative's office at 763-688-7964 so your concerns can be addressed.

Owatonna Hospital's Joint Commission accreditation

Owatonna Hospital is accredited through the Joint Commission. This agency serves to help ensure and monitor the quality and safety of patient care.

We are committed to providing safe and quality care to all patients served.

If you do not feel these concerns have been adequately addressed after contacting our patient representative's office, please feel free to contact the Joint Commission by phone at 1-800-994-6610.

You can also write to the Joint Commission at:
Office of Quality Monitoring
Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181

Measures of care

Aileen Motz with a patient

Aileen Motz, assistant patient care manager, Owatonna Hospital's Quality Department (left), talks with a patient about how she can better manage her health.

Patients and families have a right to know about the quality of care they receive at Owatonna Hospital. That's why we monitor the quality of our care constantly and use it to guide our quality improvement initiatives. Our standards of care are based on suggestions by non-profit and governmental institutions that base their recommendations on scientific knowledge and research.

We voluntarily participate in several state and national initiatives that allow us to show our performance using information technology for real time viewing and comparisons.

Reducing readmission rates, improving patient self-care

It's often said that knowledge is power. Allina Health is putting this to the test with a pilot program aimed at empowering patients to better manage their own health.

The pilot program at Owatonna Hospital seeks to reduce hospital readmission rates within 30 days of a patient leaving the hospital. To reach this goal, the staff at Owatonna is arming patients and their caregivers with the education and support systems they need to stay comfortably at home and out of the hospital.

"People really can manage their own care, but sometimes they don't have the tools to do it," said Nancy Martin, quality care management specialist, Owatonna Hospital. "We're helping them manage their own care."

A path to success

Officially launched in November 2011 at Owatonna Hospital, the hospital's Potentially Preventable Readmission Reduction program most often sees patients with heart failure and mental health issues, as well as patients who have recently undergone hip or knee surgeries.

"To reduce the risk of readmission, the patient, his or her caregivers, and the patient's health care team take part in a transition meeting before the patient leaves the hospital," said Aileen Motz, assistant patient care manager, Owatonna Hospital's Quality Department.

During the meeting, each person can talk about what the patient should do or what help he or she might need to stay out of the hospital in the future. For example, the hospital pharmacist meets with the patient to make sure he or she understands how to correctly take medicines. Also, hospital staff works with a patient's primary care doctor to coordinate a follow-up appointment. In the few months the program has been running, Motz said, there's been a significant decline in preventable readmissions.

"Because of the transition meeting, we identify needs that we didn't even know existed and make the right referrals," she said. "The ultimate benefit for patients is a better quality of life at home, where they're more comfortable, happier and able to participate in family events."

Patient benefits

In addition to saving considerable health care dollars, reducing preventable readmissions is, "first and foremost, good care for patients," said Keith Olson, DO, vice president of medical affairs, Owatonna Hospital. Olson said about 20 percent of older patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being released. Readmission not only puts the patient at risk for hospital-acquired infections and medical errors, it's also a stressor for families and caregivers.

As the Owatonna Hospital pilot program moves forward, Martin said there are plans to add at-home coaching, including a visit to a patient's home, as well as follow-ups by phone.

Committed to better health

The Potentially Preventable Readmission Reduction program is part of the Allina Health commitment to the statewide Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively Campaign, also known as the RARE Campaign. To learn more about the program, please visit

Source: Healthy Communities, Summer 2012
Reviewed by: Healthy Communities, Summer 2012
First Published: 07/16/2012
Last Reviewed: 07/16/2012

Patient care, safety and satisfaction

How are we doing?

As part of our commitment to provide exceptional care, we regularly report on care improvement and safety efforts, and survey our patients about the care they received. See how Owatonna Hospital and other Allina Health facilities rate...

The Leapfrog Group

Minnesota became the first state in the nation with 100 percent of hospital's agreeing to provide information to The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety organization that compiles patient safety data for review by the public.

To access data on Owatonna Hospital's progress toward nationally recommended safety practices, take these steps:

  1. Visit
  2. Select For Consumers, then Find Leapfrog's ratings of hospital quality.
  3. Follow the instructions to find Owatonna Hospital either by zip code, city and state, state, or hospital name.

Hospital Compare

Hospital Compare was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and organizations that represent hospitals, doctors, employers, accrediting organizations, other federal agencies and the public. The Web site allows patients and families to compare the performance of virtually all the nation's acute care hospitals on 18 common quality measures for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia care.

To see how well Owatonna Hospital and other hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions, take these steps:

  1. Visit
  2. Select Find and Compare Hospitals, then enter your search criteria.

A variety of paths lead to pain relief

Diane Dulaney, RN massages a patient's hand.

Diane Dulaney, RN, a team leader in Ambulatory Surgery, gives a hand massage to a patient to help relieve discomfort.

At Owatonna Hospital our goal is to minimize your pain. In order to meet that goal, we focus on communication among hospital staff members, patients, their doctors and nurses.

Understanding pain

When patients are admitted, they're asked to rate their pain level. The scale, called the Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale, shows facial expressions and a number scale. If the patient picks a face with a big smile or low number, staff will know there is little or no pain. A frown, tears and a high number means the pain is bad.

Patients are also asked to set a pain "goal." Doctors and nurses work with patients to reach that goal, said Laurie Ridgley, RN, chair of the Pain Committee at Owatonna Hospital.

Doctors and nurses track your pain and its management on a care board in every room and in your electronic health record.

"For example, if you get Ibuprofen every six hours, we write on the board 'Ibuprofen — 4 p.m.,' so you and the rest of your care team know when it can be given again," Ridgley said.

Owatonna Hospital has seen an improvement in patient satisfaction as a result of the care boards, and the increased focus on pain management by staff. "Patients and families rely on the boards to have up-to-date information about their care team names, plan for the day and pain medication times," Ridgley said.

Alternative therapies

Owatonna Hospital offers a number of alternative and complementary therapies that have been shown to help control pain, anxiety, nausea and insomnia. They include aromatherapy, massage therapy, guided imagery and breathing techniques.

Six nurses have completed training in the use of complementary therapies and are training other nurses, said Diane Dulaney, RN, a team leader in Ambulatory Surgery.

For example, patients in the Birth Center at Owatonna Hospital have successfully used lavender oil for their postoperative pain, Ridgley said. Lavender is one of four essential oils that patients can use to increase comfort. The others are mandarin, ginger and sweet marjoram. The oils are given as inhalers or topicals.

"We're seeing improvements in the pain scale of patients using these techniques," Dulaney said. "We've had many situations where patients start at level six or eight and get it down to two or three, a manageable pain goal."