(Seguin) -- Guadalupe Regional Medical Center has yet again achieved national recognition for putting its patients first. In fact, GRMC is now officially in the top two percent of hospitals nationwide earning the highest prestigious honor from Healthgrades, a leading expert in rating and evaluating "hospital quality based solely on clinical outcomes."
Rhonda Unruh, vice president of quality for GRMC says the combination of two awards, Patient Safety Excellence Award and Outstanding Patient Experience Award ranks GRMC as a leading hospital in the United States as well as "the" leader in the San Antonio/New Braunfels area.
Unruh says landing these two awards together has put GRMC on the list of the very best in the nation. It has also made GRMC only one of 12 hospitals in the state of Texas to earn the prestigious recognition by Healthgrades.
"Then the combination of the two awards puts us in the Top 2 percent in the nation because only 65 hospitals receive both of these awards. So we are pretty proud of that," said Unruh.
The closest hospital also to recognized with GRMC is St. David's Medical Center in Austin. The other 10 are located in the North Texas, Dallas and Houston areas.
As for the pair of awards, Unruh says each are carefully catered to the overall patient experience.
While it’s not the first time that GRMC has received the Patient Safety Excellence Award, Unruh says it is an achievement that illustrates the underlying mission of the hospital.
"So we had already earned the Patient Safety Excellence Award last year but we did receive that again this year and what is important about this is that this is comparing us to about 4,500 other hospitals in the country and really looking at our patient outcomes and any complications as compared to these other facilities and recognizing us for really just performing better than all these other facilities. So really quite an honor that we got that again. It puts us in the Top 10 percent in the nation so that's pretty exciting," said Unruh.
Unruh says GRMC is also thrilled to be among the top hospitals when it comes to patients and what they think.
"The Outstanding Patient Experience Award -- we know what our surveys are telling us, what our patients are saying but this is the first time that we've received this award and I think what's important about this particular award is that to be eligible to even receive this, you have to be in the Top 80 percent for the Clinical Quality Matrix that Healthgrades has. You can't really get this on its own. It really has to be based in quality of care before you are even considered to get this so for us to earn this award on top of having high quality ratings, low complications is really exciting for us," said Unruh.
Unruh says there's a lot of methodology that goes behind these awards and while it all may seem "Greek" to most, it puts GRMC against the operations of not only surrounding but other larger hospitals throughout the country.
"While they are comparing us to other facilities, what they are doing is they are normalizing the patient populations so they truly can compare these facilities so even though we are being compared to a facility who may take care of sicker patients or maybe have access to more specialists or new technology -- the way that they do their methodology is that they kind of make it all common ground for everyone so we are all on the same playing field before they compare and see how we are doing. So I think that's important. It's an organization whose methodology you can trust. So, it's not just somebody who is throwing out awards for the sake of throwing out awards. They are really looking at outcomes and looking at where your performance is and truly showing the ones that are doing just excellent work," said Unruh.
Unruh says she attributes the success of the hospital to the culture of the organization as rolled out by CEO Robert Haynes.
“Mr. (Robert) Haynes (CEO) has really invested quite a bit of his time into building a culture here that really owns this hospital. So the culture at GRMC is 'We are GRMC.' So everything that we do every single day is really for the organization and I think because he has helped create this culture and we have people here who are invested and committed to this organization and of the community, we have been able to achieve all of these other great things. So I think starting with the culture and then layer on top of that just some really top notch physicians -- that we have been fortunate to have come into this community and just marrying those two together really just putting our best foot forward for patients every single day, it's just culminated in these great awards," said Unruh.
GRMC is said to operate with 700 employees and more than 100 skilled physicians all providing a "full range of services, using the latest and most innovative technology."