CLEARWATER – The Morton Plant Mease hospitals have continued their tradition of earning national recognition for having high standards regarding women’s health needs and preferences. Mease Countryside, Morton Plant and Mease Dunedin Hospitals earned three 2014 Women’s Choice Awards in the areas of heart care, obstetrics and emergency care, respectively.
This is the second year in a row that Mease Countryside has earned the Best Hospitals for Heart Care list as well as the second year in a row that Morton Plant won Best Hospitals for Obstetrics. Mease Dunedin Hospital won Best Hospitals for Emergency Care.
WomenCertified, a marketing research firm, gives out the awards and the awards are not ones that any hospital can apply for, said Lou Galdieri, president of Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals.
“They look at categories such as clinical excellence, physician communications, responsiveness of nurses and support staff, and hospital cleanliness,” Galdieri said. “And the goal of the survey by WomenCertified is that they develop and provide a national list of hospitals in assisting in what they term as making smarter hospital choices utilizing trusted referrals from other women.”
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania conducts research, analyzing patient satisfaction surveys and objective data from multiple databases, including data submitted by Medicare. Based on those results, WomenCertified announces its lists of America’s 100 Best Hospitals, Best Breast Centers, Best Emergency Centers, Best in Heart Care, Best in Obstetrics, Best in Orthopedics, Best Nursing Homes and Region’s Best Hospitals.
Galdieri credits having great teams at each hospital as a big part of what it takes to earn these awards.
“It takes a great team that’s focused on the needs of all of our patients and making sure that we are meeting these diverse needs in a caring and compassionate way,” Galdieri said. “Hospitals are stressful places, and we have the privilege of taking care of our community at their worst times, but also our team gets satisfaction knowing they are meeting their needs.”
Best in Heart Care
The team at The Wharton School considered data from tens of thousands of surveys, Galdieri said, and it also looked at the hard data from Medicare in the following categories to give out the Best in Heart Care award: death within 30 days of admission for a heart attack; readmission within 30 days of a heart attack; readmission within 30 days of heart failure; and death within 30 days of admission for heart failure. The hospitals also have to offer a minimum number of cardiovascular services to be considered with a minimum number of procedures provided, he said. It also considers the national patient experience scores, which are the HCAP data he said. That is publicly reported patient satisfaction data, and only hospitals that are recommended by 4 out of 5 patients are considered.
“The greatest testament is to be referred by a member of the community for the services you provide,” Galdieri said.
The process resulted in about 290 hospitals receiving this Women’s Choice Award out of more than 4,600 facilities, Galdieri said.
“Women are taking more control of the decision making process when it comes to selecting hospitals prior to selecting doctors,” said CEO and founder of WomenCertified, Delia Passi, on the Women’s Choice website. “As the primary healthcare decision makers, women account for about 90 percent of all family choices when it comes to matters of health. Making quick decisions goes against her grain, and women are seeking more information than ever before when making healthcare or hospital selections. Our mission is to reduce the risk for women and their families so they can make smarter healthcare choices.”
Last year, Morton Plant Hospital and Morton Plant North Bay Hospital were also recognized with Mease Countryside Hospital on the 2013 list for Best Hospitals for Heart Care.
Best in Obstetrics
The Best in Obstetrics award are also based on exceptional patient recommendation scores, Galdieri said. It also looks at other important clinical areas, infection rates and serious complications, he said. He said it is no surprise that Morton Plant Hospital would receive this honor.
“As an organization, Morton Plant Mease women’s services has received Baby Friendly status from the World Health Organization and also UNICEF for both Morton Plant and Countryside Hospitals,” Galdieri said. “Morton Plant Hospital has a level II neonatal intensive care center, it has water birth options, board certified lactation consultants, several educational classes and support groups for our maternity patients.”
The hospital staff wants to care for the entire family in this area, Galdieri said, as well as providing education and support at a community level.
“With the trend for healthcare moving toward balancing cost and quality, women are shifting toward ‘self-managed care,’ choosing their hospitals before they select doctors associated with their hospital of choice,” Passi said on the Women’s Choice website. “We provide moms seeking peace of mind for delivery of their baby with a trusted third party endorsement based on hospital experiences reported by women in their community. New moms have many choices when it comes to obstetrics. Now they can make informed decisions based on the recommendations of patients who have experienced that hospital first hand.”
Galdieri said winning in this category is a special honor because people are actually choosing their hospital for this area of care.
“In the maternity field, in obstetrics, women have a choice, more than any other award category,” Galdieri said. “They have the ability to tour, to visit, to meet teams and then finally select facilities based on that experience and word of mouth, so I think that it’s more important to get this recognition, knowing they are choosing Morton Plant Hospital.”
Morton Plant was one of 300 hospitals to win this award, Galdieri said.
Best in Emergency Care
Finally, Mease Dunedin Hospital won for Best in Emergency Care.
“Hospitals that earned the Emergency Care Award consistently rank in the top 25 percent of the 3,600 hospitals reporting their emergency department’s performance to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” according to Women’s Choice Awards. “The seven measures CMS publicly reports relate primarily to the amount of time taken in the ER such as time for diagnosis, medication, and admission to the hospital, and are weighed according to the priorities of the women surveyed. A hospital can be eliminated from the award if they fall outside of the 25th percentile for two or more of the seven measures, depending on their importance.”
Dunedin has been working hard for a number of years to provide speedy, effective care, so Galdieri thought this was a well-deserved award and was not surprised that it earned it.
“Mease Dunedin, several years ago, really put an effort and focus on emergency room throughout in looking at the time that it takes for our patient from the time they come through the door to the time they are treated or triaged or admitted or discharged,” Galdieri said. “And we have the highest patient satisfaction scores in the last three years in the area based on the ability of that team to appropriately triage and take care of our community in their emergency needs.”
Obviously, when a patient comes into an emergency room, they want to get treated right away, Galdieri said. At Mease Dunedin, they do point-of-care testing in the emergency room and can almost immediately have test results that can help treat patients, and its X-ray facilities are right next to the emergency room, he said.
“I think (what stands out) is what we call our 30-minute promise,” Galdieri said. “We strive to have that patient seen by a licensed care provider within 30 minutes from entering the emergency room. It’s not uncommon to walk through even now during our busy season and it’s uncommon to see patients waiting in the waiting room because we have the ability to take patients right back and treat them right away. We do admitting and triage and registration in the emergency room itself, so it’s rare to see patients in our waiting rooms.”