Bristol Regional Named Among Top 10 Percent In Country For Cancer, Women's Health Programs

Bristol Regional Medical Center is achieving stellar results in its oncology and women's health programs, both of which excel with outstanding support from the community.

CareChex, a division of Comparion, recently selected Bristol Regional among the top 10 percent in the United States for cancer care and women's health. Comparion independently evaluates hospitals on multiple elements of medical quality.

"These ratings reflect the unrelenting commitment by our physicians, nurses and other medical staff in our cancer and women's health programs to deliver superior care with compassion," said Greg Neal, Bristol Regional's interim president. "But it also says a great deal about the philanthropic spirit within the community to elevate care in our hospital to an elite level."

The CareChex ratings are based on a comprehensive review of nearly all general, acute, nonfederal hospitals in the United States. The company combs a collection of publicly available databases, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Hospital Quality Alliance, for its analysis. CareChex takes into account factors such as process of care, outcomes of care and patient satisfaction.

Specifically, the medical excellence category evaluates the quality of inpatient care with a quality scoring system that integrates the most reliable quality indicators available in the industry into one multidimensional, composite score and rating. Among the quality measures used are patient safety indicators, mortality rates and complication rates.

CareChex compiles these rankings to help providers and healthcare consumers evaluate the quality of inpatient care.

Bristol Regional provides strength and hope to cancer patients with a breadth of services that put them on a path to healing and recovery. The hospital also offers comprehensive services to assist women with their health needs.

The community has played an integral role in the success of these services with its financial support for facilities and medical equipment that improves patients' lives every day.

Oncology care is housed in the J.D. and Lorraine Nicewonder Cancer Center. Located within that center is the Jackie Leonard Infusion Center and CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, both of which were funded from generous community support from the Leonard and Nicewonder families. CyberKnife enables Bristol Regional to deliver radiation to tumors with submilimeter accuracy, sparing nearby healthy tissue.

The Leonards have also shown their keen understanding of the need for women's services through their donation to support the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center. The center, which is nearing completion on the first floor near the hospital's west entrance, will consolidate breast care services in one area.

Highlights of the new center include screening and diagnostic mammograms, bone density testing and offices for Dr. Sue Prill, a board-certified oncologist with Wellmont Medical Associates who specializes in breast cancer, and the breast care navigator. Other services in this innovative center will include lymphedema therapy, research and genetic testing and counseling.

One of the primary goals of the breast center is to provide quick, easy access for women to all members of the multidisciplinary care team when needed. Collaboration among specialists will facilitate fast patient access to radiologists, surgeons, medical oncology and radiation oncology. The breast care navigator will coordinate with the patient every step of the way.

"Community support for our oncology program has tremendously enhanced the level of care we deliver at Bristol Regional," said Sue Lindenbusch, vice president of the Wellmont Cancer Institute. "We also have an innovative oncology team that is focused on treating the whole individual - body, mind and spirit. Our co-workers tailor their care to meet the individual patient's needs."

Other facets of women's health have received considerable attention at Bristol Regional. Through community donations, the hospital purchased da Vinci Surgical System, which has been used to perform hysterectomies and treat other benign and malignant gynecological conditions. Physicians can also use this piece of equipment to remove cancer of the kidney and bladder and perform lobectomies on lung cancer patients as well as some cardiac and thoracic procedures.

The combination of CyberKnife and da Vinci has given Bristol Regional the most advanced robotics program in the region.

Bristol Regional is boosting women's care even further with a donation from Mike and Debbie Quillen for upgraded facilities inside the birthing unit. The Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center will have improved equipment and décor to increase patient comfort and safety. The unit delivers 850-900 babies a year.

Bristol Regional's interest in women's health is particularly evident each year with the Women's and Children's Expo, which is held in the spring. At this event, the hospital provides seminars, free tests and abundant information that empowers women at all stages of life to be cognizant of their health.

"We appreciate the recognition by CareChex of our expert care, which is advancing the health and well-being of our patients," said Danita Mowl, the birthing center's clinical leader. "We are constantly looking for ways to take our care model up another notch, and we receive extra motivation when we have the philanthropic support from the community to make the patient care experience even better."