Respiratory Therapist Cathy Hughes Recognized for Providing Efficient Patient Care

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Respiratory Therapist Cathy Hughes saw and seized an opportunity to make a difference for the tiniest and most vulnerable patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

February 9, 2015

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Honors Hughes with Prestigious “Patients First Award”

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2015–MedStar Washington Hospital Center Respiratory Therapist Cathy Hughes saw and seized an opportunity to make a difference for the tiniest and most vulnerable patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Annapolis, Md., resident found a way to improve how respiratory support was administered to babies. As a result of her process improvement initiative, Hughes earned the “Patients First Award” from President John Sullivan for her innovation and commitment, to providing exceptional quality, safety and service to babies.

MWHC-Patient-First-AwardHughes had noticed that some newborns in the NICU could be connected to as many as five different devices and proposed a plan to integrate the use of one multi-interface device to streamline neonatal respiratory support. In the end, Hughes demonstrated that a new, single device was less invasive, more efficient, and safer for the babies. The process of stabilizing a baby’s breathing after a high-risk delivery dropped from 101.10 minutes to 14.2 minutes as a result of implementing this single device.

“This was such a team approach,” said Hughes. The physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists all worked together to ensure our littlest patients received the highest level of specialized care.”

Hughes has worked at MedStar Washington Hospital Center for two years and prior to that was a NICU respiratory therapist at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md.

Visit the Hospital Center’s Facebook page for photos of Hughes receiving the “Patients First Award.”   

About MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 926-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation's capital, among the 50 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for the most complex tertiary services. It consistently ranks among the nation's top hospitals as recognized by U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital Center is a respected top facility in the area of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, orthopaedics, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, one of the country's top shock-trauma and medevac programs, and also operates the region's only adult burn center.

Back to Top