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Springfield Regional earns national recognition

Patient care measures show improvement.

Springfield Regional Medical Center recently received a national award recognizing patient satisfaction — proof that the hospital’s improvements are paying off, officials said.

Last month, the hospital was named a 2013 Commitment to Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates Inc., which recognizes facilities with continuous improvement in patient experience during a two-year span.

In recent history, Springfield Regional has been plagued by low patient satisfaction ratings, an indication that the community’s confidence had eroded, particularly during a lengthy, painful consolidation and the economic recession.

The hospital’s patient satisfaction scores have been slowly recovering, and this award will only help those scores, according to Paul Hiltz, CEO of the Springfield Network for Catholic Health Partners.

“We’re very excited and very enthusiastic about it,” Hiltz said. “It shows that we are on the right path in improving patient satisfaction. Our goal is to be a top 100 hospital. We’re not there, but this award shows we’re working on the right things.”

Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 healthcare facilities, including more than half of all hospitals in the United States, to measure and improve the patient experience. Twenty organizations nationally win the Commitment to Excellence Award in various categories each year.

“We are proud to partner with Springfield Regional,” Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey, said in a release. “Achieving this level of sustained improvement reflects the organization’s unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. Ultimately, this accomplishment is a bold statement to the community that the hospital is passionate about improving patient care and experiences.”

Hiltz said the most significant improvements have come in the emergency department.

Springfield Regional hired a new emergency physician group, Emergency Medicine Physicians of Canton, in May to do intensive training with the hospital’s staff on customer service and patient satisfaction.

About 67 percent of patients first go to the emergency department when they arrive at the hospital, Hiltz said. The hospital has reduced a patient’s time from the door to the provider by 70 percent, and the average emergency wait time in October was 15 minutes.

Emergency department visits are up 6 percent this year over last year, Hiltz said.

“The community’s consensus was we needed to improve the emergency department,” he said. “That’s been our priority. We’re very delighted with the progress there.”

The hospital is focusing more on team-based care for patients, which involves doctors and nurses working together from the beginning to provide the best patient experience possible, Hiltz said. The hospital also has “eliminated waste” by investing in electronic medical records, he said.

Springfield Regional — which opened Nov. 13, 2011 — has 254 beds and serves an area of about 200,000 people. There are 1,650 people employed at Springfield Regional.

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