NBHH recognized with Overall Quality of Care Award

This isn’t the first time North Big Horn Hospital has won an award for its service, but what’s exciting about its latest award of recognition is that it’s all-encompassing and based on patient satisfaction. 

“This award includes recognition for more than one specific area,” explained In-Patient Coordinator Amber James, RN. “It is all encompassing.”

This is the first time NBHH has won the prestigious award based on patient satisfaction surveys taken after a patient is released from a hospital. The award puts NBHH in the top of its class nationally for scoring in the top 10 percent out of around 2,000 hospitals participating.

“This is a reflection of how good our staff is,” said Michael Henley, Director of Nursing. “A survey like this of the patient experience shows the quality of care the staff gives at this hospital. So really, it is a representation of our staff.”

“It’s reflective of all the little things we do,” added Patient Care Coordinator Cathy Clark, RN. “The award is based on three key drivers, which are overall teamwork, management of pain and doctors easing worries or fears. The scores in these areas are combined to show the overall quality of care.”

Clark noted that the sample size is highly dependent upon which patients are willing to participate in the telephone survey. Only patients who have had a recent hospital stay are surveyed.

The survey is conducted by the PRC organization and is considered a five-star award of the highest honor.

“A lot of the things we do lead to a good overall patient experience,” explained Clark. “Like bedside rounding (checking in on patients) often and follow-up phone calls after patients are discharged to make sure patients are doing OK and have what they need.”

“I think it goes both ways,” said James. “The award is good for morale, but if there is already good morale to begin with you have happy nurses taking care of patients, making patients happy.

“One thing I’m really proud of is that during the October through December quarter we scored 100 percent on our teamwork. I think that shows how committed we are to each other and show our patients that we have good experience.”

Henley noted, “Though a hundred things can go right during a patient stay, if one thing goes wrong that’s the one thing they remember. So to win an award like this shows how successful we were in our patient care and how committed to quality our nurses are. It shows that we are giving the care that the community is looking for, and that is a reflection of the care given by all of the staff: the providers, the nurses and everyone else involved.”

Typically, the team gets very high scores, but if for some reason a less than perfect score is achieved, that area becomes an area of focus for improvement. Henley noted that this type of data gives the staff feedback that is used to improve the quality of patient care.

“This type of award speaks to the overall quality of teamwork, which is based on good communication,” said Clark. “It shows how the team operates to provide quality care.”

Henley noted that, though the award went specifically to the hospital staff, many patients are treated in coordination with other departments, for example going from an emergency room visit to a hospital stay.

“It’s about creating a seamless patient experience from one department to another,” he said. “It’s impossible to have these kinds of scores without all of the other departments involved.”

“This is something we are really proud of and a huge accomplishment for us,” said Clark. “It’s the first time we’ve earned this award, and it’s a very big deal for us.”

By Patti Carpenter