Two more awards have been added to Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital’s growing number of accolades, announced hospital leaders Friday during a short gathering to celebrate the honors.
The Women’s Choice Award, a referral source for the best in healthcare, has named Hugh Chatham Hospital as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Patient Safety and Best Stroke Centers.
“The recipients of the America’s Best Hospitals for Patient Safety award have led the country by implementing safe practices that have ultimately saved lives,” said Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women’s Choice Award. “This recognition is critical for women as they make 80 percent of healthcare decisions and need to know they are putting themselves —and their family members —in safe hands.”
Paul Hammes, CEO for HCMH, said Friday afternoon to a crowd gathered in the hospital lobby for the announcement that the Elkin-based hospital is one of 522 out of about 5,000 hospitals in the United States, meaning 10 percent, to meet “the highest standards for patient safety, outperforming most of our peers nationally on such important measures as surgical complication rates and hospital OR infection rates.”
In addition to the patient safety award, Hammes said, “We join a very prestigious group of only 8 percent of U.S. hospitals named America’s Best Stroke Centers.”
This adds to the milestone Hugh Chatham reached in 2011 naming the HCMH a primary stroke center after it met specific criteria for things like time of arrival to receiving a head scan and time from one’s symptom onset to receiving lifesaving medicine, Hammes said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five women in the United States will have a stroke in her lifetime. Nearly 60 percent of stroke deaths are in women, and stroke kills twice as many as breast cancer.
“Timely diagnosis and effective care are critical to preventing disability and improving chances of recovery,” Passi said. “Our award educates women about where they and their loved ones have the best chance of returning to a full life following a stroke.”
“People come here because they don’t want to be just a number,” said Dr. Beverly Byrd, who joined Hugh Chatham Women’s Center in August. “They don’t want to be just a colon or a gall bladder or a hysterectomy or an orthopedic procedure. They want to be the person they are, they want to be taken care of, they want that personal care.”
“It is important that we are working toward something, and a lot of times that is the awards we are getting, but more important than that, I want you to understand it takes an entire army for the stroke center to work,” said Emily Parks, stroke coordinator for HCMH.
“We all have to work seamlessly and we all have to work to make sure we are doing the appropriate thing for the patient or we’re not going to have the outcomes,” she said. “It is also very appropriate that it’s a women’s choice award, not that taking care of men’s not important, but women, we know, have lots more strokes and by number that continues to grow.”
“As trustees of this exceptional institution, we put great emphasis on numbers, quantitative measures of what happens in this building,” said Ann Ashman, incoming chair of the HCMH Board of Trustees. “Yes, we look deeply at the financial results, but no numbers are more important to us than the feedback our patients give on surveys about their quality of care.
“Somewhere between the time that a patient arrives and is discharged, something exceptional happens in the way you reach out, whether directly or indirectly, from a medical or a human perspective. Their perception of that experience is what is captured in that survey form,” she said.
Ashman credited the hospital’s management, physicians and staff with “hardwiring excellence in all you do, seeing purpose, worthwhile meaningful work and making a difference in people’s lives and especially in each other’s.”
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.