WRMC receives high marks from patients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tammy G. Love
Director of Marketing & Medical Staff Development
Phone: (336) 651-8116
By JERRY LANKFORD
Wilkes Regional Medical Center is receiving high marks from its patients.
According to phone surveys conducted by Professional Research Consultants (PRC), a nationally recognized analysis group, most patients who have used the hospital in recent months have been pleased with the level of healthcare they have received.
From these surveys PRC presented a four-star rating award to WRMC and a five-star rating award to the hospital's OB/GYN department.
Hospital officials say the awards are the result of intensified efforts to boost customer satisfaction.
About the awards, which were presented June 12 and June 13 at a national meeting in Omaha, Neb., WRMC President and CEO Ted Chapin said, "I was just thrilled for the staff. We've been working so hard the past couple of years to turn the perception of the hospital around. It's not easy to win these awards. It takes a lot of work. Our staff is real committed to customer service."
The four-star rating put WRMC in the top 25 percent of hospitals in the country. The five-star rating elevates the OB/GYN department into the top 10 percent nationally.
"I think these awards show our commitment to our patients," said Tammy Love, WRMC director of marketing and medical staff development. "We want to provide excellent service and care to those who come to Wilkes Regional Medical Center."
As for the OB/GYN department, "Every mom has rated us excellent who has been called," Love said. "To have everyone's overall experience rated as excellent is our goal."
This is the second year that WRMC has participated in the PRC program. Prior to that, mail surveys had been used. Hospital officials, however, felt that type of survey didn't offer timely information.
Barbara Overby, director of the performance improvement department at WRMC, said, "I think it's a tremendous accomplishment for our employees."
Overby said that efforts to improve ratings began in January 2005 when the hospital received a rating of 20 percent. "By December of 2005 we had improved that to 95 percent," she said.
The plan to improve ratings involved each department manager developing action plans that focused on customer service.
According to Overby, these are the highest ratings the hospital has ever received.
"This gives our staff something to really be proud of," she said. "I think it means we're doing our best for the community."
Debbie Mitchell, the New Beginnings Birthing Center (the hospital's OB/GYN department) nurse manager, said, "The New Beginnings Birthing Center staff is honored to accept the 5 Star Patient Satisfaction Award from PRC. With patients and their families always our primary focus, our doctors and nursing staff go above and beyond to provide excellent service and excellent care."
Mitchell added, "The department's nursing staff has over 450 combined years of experience and a very low turn over rate. They have demonstrated their commitment by receiving specialized certifications in breast feeding, neonatal resuscitation, fetal monitoring and advanced obstetrical care. With our award winning staff, a newly renovated department, on-going support from the community, our administration and the Health Foundation, New Beginnings of Wilkes Regional continues to be a place where patients choose to deliver. We are very appreciative to all of our patients for recognizing our department with this award."
Carol Hermann, vice president of patient care/chief nursing officer at WRMC, said, "We have seen steady improvement in the satisfaction ratings we receive from our physician community and our employees. On all fronts, independent surveys show we are making significant progress in the way we do business and how we provide care."
And good word about the hospital is spreading, she said.
"The perception of quality among those in our community who have not used our services recently has also improved," Hermann said. "That's a good sign because it indicates our patients are talking with their friends and neighbors about their positive experience at Wilkes Regional."