‘Most consistent’ hospital

Published 10:15 am Friday, October 1, 2010

FRANKLIN—Just two months after being recognized as Hampton Roads’ best in eight categories of patient care, Southampton Memorial Hospital has been named the most consistent facility in the state as well.

Kim Marks, assistant chief executive officer for SMH, said the hospital earned high marks on a patient satisfaction award through the Hospital Care Quality Information from the Consumer Perspective, or HCAHPS.

“It’s a great honor for our hospital to be recognized,” Marks said Wednesday. “We feel we do a great job in taking care of our friends and neighbors.”

The HCAHPS survey is 27 questions long and asks participants to rank hospitals on 18 patient perspectives on care, and covers eight topics: communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, hospital cleanliness and quietness.

“Our employees are the reason that we are the recipients of this high honor,” Marks said. “Without outstanding employees, this would not be possible.”

In July, SMH ranked the highest in eight out of 10 areas of patient satisfaction among Hampton Roads hospitals. The hospital scored an 87 percent approval rating for communication with doctors, 82 percent for communication with nurses and 78 percent for cleanliness.

The hospital also scored a 73 for pain management, 70 for quietness, 68 for responsiveness and 61 for communication about medicines.

Both SMH and Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk scored an 87 percent approval rating on providing discharge information.

“We beat every hospital in Hampton Roads in eight out of the 10 categories,” hospital Chief Executive Officer David Fuller said Thursday. “If you look at the whole state, we were the most consistent performer across the state. We were the most consistent across all categories.

“There is a tendency among those of us in small towns to think that everything in the next big town is better. Far too often, we don’t realize how good our neighbors do at taking care of us when we get sick.”

Marks will take over as interim CEO of the hospital today, after Fuller leaves to become head of North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview, Fla.