GRMC among the best in the nation when it comes to experience, customer value according to its patients
Posted on 5/9/2018 7:34:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- When it comes to patients and their experience, Seguin no doubt has one of the best hospitals in the nation. That idea is now especially clear after it was announced this week that  Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, for the first time ever, has achieved the Healthgrades 2018 Outstanding Patient Experience Award. Healthgrades is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

Rhonda Unruh, vice president of quality for GRMC, says this distinction puts the medical facility in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation.

"So to get it, period, is great but to be in the top 10 percent of the nation and only (among) two in our San Antonio/New Braunfels area, it's pretty exciting for us. It's nice to know that our efforts are really being seen by our patients," said Unruh.

Healthgrades evaluated 3,478 hospitals that submitted at least 100 patient experience surveys covering admissions from April 2016 to March 2017. Unruh says the survey's questions focused on the patient's experience throughout their care in the hospital.

"The Patient Experience Award is given out by Healthgrades recognizing outstanding patient experience as defined by responses from our patients. So all of our patients that stay with us in the hospital are eligible to receive a survey. This survey is mandatory from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). So, we send these out and then patients have the opportunity to respond back to us and give us feedback and based on those results, we were able to achieve outstanding patient experience," said Unruh.

GRMC officials say Healthgrades evaluated hospital performance by applying a scoring methodology to 10 patient experience measures, using data collected from a 32-question patient experience survey of the hospital's own patients. They say the topics of these questions ranged from cleanliness and noise levels in patient rooms to other factors such as pain management and responsiveness to patients' needs. The measures also included whether a patient would recommend the hospital to family and friends.

Unruh says for the last several years, GRMC has invested in adhering to the needs of its most important stakeholders -- the patients.

"A few years ago, we started a journey with a company called the Studer Group (Healthcare Coaching and Execution) and they came in and kind of gave us some tools to work with -- to help us shape really some best practices to help improve the patient experience and really the idea behind that was that the patient is really at the center of everything that we do. So, if we put in place these best practices and give our staff some tools and tactics, then we can consistently provide that excellent experience and over the course of the past few years, we've really had great engagement from the staff. We have an outstanding patient experience coordinator who leads the charge and really just have had a culture that is really supportive of making sure that our patients get the very best experience when they come to see us," said Unruh.

Hospital officials say in order to be recognized by Healthgrades, hospitals must meet eligibility requirements for consideration which includes clinical performance thresholds in addition to the minimum 100 survey responses. Nationally, almost 3,000 hospitals met those requirements with 439 hospitals outperforming their peers -- based on their patients' responses -- to achieve this distinction.

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