News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jennifer Schwartzenberg, Director of Community Outreach and Development, The Outer Banks Hospital, (252) 449-5933
Date: March 29, 2018

Nicole Kalkhoff Receives OBH 2018 Greatest Catch Award

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Nicole Kalkhoff, ST, is the recipient of The Outer Banks Hospital’s 2018 Greatest Catch Award. Nicole is recognized for her work to implement new drinking mugs for the population of patients we serve who have Dysphagia.  Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, means it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. After noticing patients with Dysphagia struggling to drink from the hospital’s standard mugs, she personally took the initiative to seek out mugs that would avoid this risk. Through this process; she identified a new mug, pulled together a team of dedicated healthcare providers to get the new mug and process implemented, and educated our nurses, physicians and therapy team members involved in patient care on the new process.

“Getting adequate nutrition and hydration in a safe manor are essential to recovery.” Nicole stated. “The administration and staff at the hospital were supportive of this safety catch from day one!”

A Great Catch for safety in the healthcare setting  is defined as an event or circumstance that has the potential to cause an incident but that did not actually occur due to timely action and intervention.  We rely on the reporting of these great catches to continuously improve our safety culture. From a great catch we learn what happened, why it happened, how it was identified, how can it be prevented and improved.

“Nicole is a role model for safety and her commitment and dedication are why we recognized her during National Patient Safety Awareness Week as the 2018 Greatest Catch Award recipient,” said Devereux Grindle, Outer Banks Hospital Director of Quality.  “It is because of actions taken every day by dedicated professionals like Nicole and our other Great Catch honorees that our hospital continues to exceed in patient safety, quality, and experience.” Safety is core value for TOBH.  Research tells us that organizations who embrace a highly reliable safety culture have not only better patient outcomes, but higher ratings in patient experience and employee engagement – this is because this same research tells us that while in the hospital or healthcare system our patient’s number one priority is keeping them safe.

Pictured L to R: Lisa McGaha, Director, Inpatient Services; Devereux Grindle, Director, Quality; Nicole Kalkhoff, Speech Therapist; and Deb Johnson, Director, Clinical Support Services