2014-10-01 / Other Jenkins News

Quality – Right at Home

by Robert Sellers, Hospital Administrator Optim Medical Center - Jenkins

As a consumer of healthcare, it is very difficult to judge the quality of care that you receive. Some people judge quality by how nice the parking lot looks or the age of the building because, of course, if the building looks bad there is no way you could receive quality care. Perception has always played a major role in determining if you are getting a quality product or service. I have heard so many times about the poor quality of care patients received from their local hospital.

Take just a minute and think about what your local hospital employees face each day. Our patients come to us sick, worried about their health, and how they are going to pay for care they didn’t plan on this month. That happens all before they come through our doors. Once they are here, with the assistance of the Federal Government, we require them to complete mounds of paperwork in order for us to provide them care. This is not a way to impress upon our patients that they are receiving quality care. Over the last several years, the Centers of Medicare/Medicaid have established criteria to help us determine the quality of care our patients receive. Most of those criteria do not apply to small rural hospital like ours, but there are some that we see patients for on a routine basis: Pneumonia, Congestive Heart Failure, and Chest Pain. Each of these is further broken down into specific actions that we are required to meet. Below is a simple chart that shows your local hospital’s performance for the period of January 2014 through June 2014:

As you can see from the chart, we have performed at the highest level possible for the last six (6) months. This is no small feat; because we have small numbers of patients that present with Pneumonia, Congestive Heart Failure, and Chest Pain, we have to be perfect to reach our goal of 98 percent.

The real question is, “Why do I share this with you?” The answer is simple. These are difficult times in healthcare and the future of this hospital depends on your support. It is the responsibility of the hospital team to provide you and your family the highest possible quality care. I am not asking you to change your physician but when your physician needs tests, why not use your local facility? The one thing that you can depend on in an emergency is your local emergency room. In most emergencies, time is everything and be assured that we are at the top of our game in providing quality care. If you elect to use healthcare services outside of the community, maybe you should ask how they perform on their quality measures.

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