Blue Hill Memorial Hospital has received two national awards for providing high quality care for its hospitalized patients. As a federally recognized critical access hospital, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital is licensed for 25 beds. Patients who are hospitalized in Blue Hill benefit from several types of care based on their clinical needs. The hospital offers a swing bed program (for those recovering from a major illness or event who require special services such as physical therapy), special care (for those who need extra monitoring, often with a 1:1 patient/nurse ratio), post-surgical, acute, and palliative care. Some patients are kept overnight for observation, often after a trip to the emergency department. Others, following an event such as a stroke, may be at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital for a period of months. The two awards recognize the high quality that all patients receive while hospitalized.
The first award was made by Avatar International, an industry leader in healthcare quality services. Blue Hill Memorial Hospital is receiving Avatar International’s 2011 Exceeding Patient Expectations Award. David Medvedeff, PharmD, MBA, CEO of Avatar says that the community hospital has gone above and beyond to exceed its patients’ expectations…. As result of such efforts, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital is extremely deserving of this year’s Exceeding Patient Expectations Award.”
Shortly after hearing the news from Avatar, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital leaders learned that their organization was receiving a second award. VHA Inc., the national health care network, awarded Blue Hill Memorial Hospital a 2012 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence. VHA gives its Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence annually to recognize organizations that achieve top performance on clinical core measures established and tracked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, including the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Services (HCAHPS) survey, which measures hospital patient satisfaction nationwide.
Connie Barrett, RN, JD serves as Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s chief nursing and compliance officer. In this capacity she oversees the organization’s overall performance improvement and quality activities. “Healthcare is complex and our efforts to maintain and even improve upon exceptional care require a team effort. Our outstanding nurses, doctors, therapists, and other clinical personnel are an important part of this picture. It’s also essential, however, to recognize the impact of our membership within Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS).”
Barrett explains that EMHS has already supported a number of local efforts, including the implementation of electronic health records. EMHS is also key to future endeavors, such as the use of barcodes to help prevent medication errors in the future. “We have a very low rate of medication errors, but even one error is too many. Our membership within a strong, regional healthcare system helps to ensure that our local hospital has access to not only the best technology, but also outstanding training opportunities and professional networking. Our patients benefit from both, and our two most recent awards demonstrate that local healthcare, with regional support, translates into high quality care for our community.”