Hawkins County Memorial Achieves Four Stars in New Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Ratings

Aug. 5, 2016Hawkins County Memorial Hospital’s delivery of superior care to the community has caught the eye of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has given the facility a high score in newly released ratings.

The 50-bed hospital has earned four out of a maximum five stars in the federal agency’s Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating system. This tally, based on examination of 64 health care measures reported to the U.S. government, is the best score achieved by a hospital in Hawkins County Memorial’s service area.

Scores in this area, which includes Hawkins, Greene, Hancock and Hamblen counties, range from one star to four stars. CMS said the ratings help patients and their families learn about the quality of hospitals, compare facilities and ask important questions about quality of care when visiting a health care setting.

“The outcome of this nationwide evaluation reflects the diligence of our physicians and other medical professionals to produce optimal results for our patients, as is illustrated in our score,” said Rebecca Beck, Hawkins County Memorial’s president. “In serving residents of Hawkins County and nearby communities who have a variety of health needs, our providers are repeatedly demonstrating our hospital is the go-to facility for patients seeking high-quality care. Their performance has been extraordinary.”

CMS said the new star system is designed to help people compare hospitals in an understandable way and is an extension of efforts the federal agency has made in the last decade to publish information about the quality of care available in the five most frequently encountered health care settings.

The rating summarizes data from quality measures reported on Hospital Compare, which is a consumer-oriented website CMS operates to share how well hospitals provide care to their patients. Through this site, people can compare performance measures among hospitals so they can make informed decisions about health care.

The 64 measures by which the hospitals were measured by CMS were divided into seven groups – mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical imaging.

One of the highlights for Hawkins County Memorial was 75 percent of patients giving the hospital an overall score of 9 or 10, with a 10 classified as the best score possible. This percentage was higher than the state and national average.

The CMS ranking is the latest recognition the hospital has earned based on patient perspective. For the last four years, CareChex®, a division of Comparion® Medical Analytics, has selected Hawkins County Memorial among the top 10 percent in the nation for patient satisfaction in overall hospital care, overall medical care and overall surgical care.

“When patients come to our hospital for care, they are experiencing a vulnerable moment in their lives,” said Ravan Krickbaum, chairwoman of the hospital’s board of directors. “We are focused on providing the best possible experience that enables them to heal in a comfortable environment surrounded by highly skilled caregivers. That commitment permeates the hospital and assures the community we are prepared to help them improve their health.”

Another highlight in the CMS review was the hospital’s care for patients in the emergency department. Data show the average amount of time patients spent in the emergency department before being discharged without admission was more than 20 minutes faster than the state average and nearly 30 minutes sooner than the national average for low-volume hospitals. And the average amount of time patients spent in the emergency department before they were admitted as an inpatient was 15 minutes less than the state average and 30 minutes less than the national average in that same category of hospitals.

The ranking from CMS continues a trend of national recognition for Hawkins County Memorial. In recent months, Truven Health Analytics chose Hawkins County as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country, listing it among 20 small community hospitals in its 2016 rankings. The company also picked Hawkins County Memorial one of the 17 winners of the Everest Award, which honors hospitals among the 100 that have attained the highest current performance and fastest long-term improvement over five years.

Plus, Hawkins County Memorial has been named to iVantage Health Analytics’ list of the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in 2016. The National Rural Health Association used that data to pick Hawkins County Memorial as one of its Top 20 rural Community Hospitals for 2016.

In addition to these organizations, an industry publication has recognized Hawkins County Memorial for its efforts. Becker’s Hospital Review in 2015 named Hawkins County Memorial as one of the 49 hospitals in the nation with the best staff-to-patient medicine explanation practices. The publication also named Hawkins County Memorial in 2014 among the 43 hospitals in the United States with the cleanest patient rooms and in 2013 as one of the 56 hospitals with the best pain management.

Hawkins County Memorial provides a comprehensive suite of services, including surgery and inpatient care. The hospital’s emergency department is available 24/7, and the facility also provides multiple state-of-the-art outpatient services, such as CT scanning, nuclear medicine and digital mammography. Plus, Hawkins County Memorial operates an inpatient and outpatient physical therapy program.

As a member of Wellmont Health System, Hawkins County Memorial also works collaboratively with other hospitals in the organization should a patient need a higher level of care.

“Hawkins County Memorial is a jewel in our community hospital division and sets an example for others to follow in the delivery of exceptional patient care,” said Eric Deaton, Wellmont’s chief operating officer. “We are fortunate to have expert physicians and dedicated staff members who live their calling as health care professionals. We’re proud to serve residents of Hawkins County and those who live in nearby communities and thank them for placing their trust in our care.”