Caribou hospital receives three national awards

12 years ago

CARIBOU — Officials at Cary Medical Center have announced that the facility has been honored with three national awards from AVATAR International, a research and consulting company based in Orlando.  

The awards place the Caribou hospital among the top 5 percent in performance, based on patient surveys conducted by AVATAR at some 400 hospitals nationwide. Cary Medical Center, for the sixth year in a row received the Exceeding Patient Expectations Award, and in 2011, also received the Overall Best Performer Award, and the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Best Performer Award for Nursing Communications.

Kris Doody, R.N./CEO at Cary, said that this level of recognition is unprecedented. “We have received some very prestigious awards over the years,” said Doody, who will be accepting the awards at a special ceremony in Florida later this month, “but this level of recognition, with three national awards, reflects the quality of the people on our staff and the hard work we have been doing to provide exceptional care to our patients.”

For the past six years, Cary has received the AVATAR Exceeding Patient Expectations Award. The award goes to facilities whose overall score exceeds expectations for whichever patient types they are currently surveying, gauging patient expectations about quality of care, reliability and personal service.  The Overall Best Performer Award, a first-time award for Cary, is awarded to the top facilities in AVATAR’s national database with the highest overall combined score for the inpatient, outpatient and emergency departments, and ambulatory (same day) surgery. Another first for the hospital in 2011, was receiving the HCAHPS Best Performer Award in Nursing Communications for medium-sized hospitals, up to 300 beds.

HCAHPS is the first national standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspective of hospital care.

Shawn Anderson, Cary COO, said that the hospital has been diligently focusing on improving patient satisfaction, and the AVATAR awards are reflecting that effort.

“It really takes everyone working together to achieve this kind of result,” said Anderson who oversees the hospital’s patient survey process, “We are particularly proud of our nursing staff for their efforts in advancing nursing communication with patients. With all of the advanced technology now being used in our patient rooms, our nurses take the time to make that extra effort to be more focused on engaging with patients and families and to assess their level of comfort and understanding of their medications and procedures,” he said.

“And, beyond this exceptional performance by our nursing staff, our other clinical and support services are also performing at award winning levels and are receiving some of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the industry,” Anderson added.

David Medvedeff, PharmD, MBA, and CEO of AVATAR, praised Cary for their outstanding performance on the HCAHPS survey.

“Congratulations to Cary Medical Center on winning this new award devoted to organizations administering the HCAHPS survey. The hospital’s commitment to monitoring and enhancing the overall patient experience is truly praiseworthy,” he stated.

The AVATAR awards won by Cary, are based on results of patient surveys for about 400 hospitals in the medium-size category, with a variety of questions posed to patients who have recently been in the hospital for an overnight stay or outpatient experience, including questions about the hospital’s medical staff.  Shawn Laferriere, DO, radiologist and chief of the medical staff at Cary, said that survey results also indicate that patients are very satisfied with their communication with their physicians.  

“Our patients strongly suggest that they have good communications with their doctors,” said Laferriere, who is also chief of radiology at Cary. “Our most recent satisfaction scores, exceeding 85 percent, are the highest in our region and surpass the average scores of the national data base. Combined with our award- winning nursing communications we believe we are connecting very well with our patients,” he said.

Results of the AVATAR patient satisfaction surveys and the HCAHPS scores are routinely reported to the hospital’s Board of Directors, medical staff and throughout the organization during All Staff Forums.  

According to Doody, the award-winning performance of the hospital continues to challenge hospital staff to new levels of customer service. “Our most recent scores suggest a very positive trend with our overall rating at nearly 93 percent exceeding 5 star performance. But, in the end, it really is all about doing the right thing for patients and their families,” she said.

“It is nice to be recognized on a national level for such high standards, but there is always room for improvement, and we continue to raise the bar in making exceptional quality of care, patient satisfaction, and patient safety our number one priority,” Doody added.

In addition to the awards the hospital will receive, Cary will also be provided with an official seal recognizing their achievement.