On Thursday, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital celebrated recognition of the culture of safety cultivated by all employees.
CEO Paul Hammes congratulated staff from surgeons to custodial workers and every individual employed by the Hugh Chatham brand because they all made it possible to receive the Women’s Preferred Women’s Choice Award for patient safety.
Women’s Preferred is the premier organization that evaluates health care organizations for quality and service from the female perspective. Hammes explained they evaluated more than 3,000 hospitals awarding those who outperformed 85 percent of their peers nationwide.
“It is estimated that over 400,000 lives are lost each year in the US as a result of preventable medical errors, cited as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and Cancer,” said Hammes. This includes surgical site and device related infections.
“I am most proud to share that right here in Elkin, North Carolina, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital ranked in the top one percent of all US hospitals for patient safety,” declared Hammes.
Chief of Staff Jonathan Snyder stated that the award was, “only possible through the people,” including not only doctors, nurses and other staff, but the community as well. “In the end it was the responses to [the survey sent to patients after their visits] as well as the reporting of the hospital [that made the award possible].”
“It gives me great joy and pride that we have won this award again for the third year,” stated OB Nurse Manager Gail Poplin, explaining, “we treat [patients] as we would care for our own family members. It’s a privilege we take seriously and that we celebrate today. I have no doubt we will win it again.”
Jessica Mast of the Human Resources Department agreed, “I think it’s wonderful, but it doesn’t surprise me.”
Dr. Chris Groner, medical director of Jonesville Urgent Care, was also not surprised having recently been a patient as well as a physician cautioning those who are about to have medical treatment ask how their providers keep mistakes from happening. “If they tell you they don’t higher someone who makes mistakes, run away because everyone makes mistakes. [At Hugh Chatham] we have a system rather than rely on people who are perfect.”
Hammes agreed, “It’s not about having people who are perfect. It’s about having a culture of safety; communicating well, making sure the electronic records are accurate, making sure the lobby is clean when people walk in the door. Health care is a team sport and it takes ever single member of our team [working together to create a safe environment].”
“Our vision is to become the nation’s leading community hospital system with service as our guiding principle,” explained Hammes. “We frame our goals, plans and approach through five pillars: people, quality, service, finance and growth. To achieve our vision we must recruit and retain the best people, provide exceptional customer service to each patient every time, be good stewards of our financial resources, and deliver an smart growth plans that generate future resources, but the is nothing more important than keeping our patients safe.”
“Hugh Chatham is our community,” bragged Elkin Mayor Sam Bishop, stating the hospital not only employs more people than any other company in Elkin but that, “anything we have going on in town, Hugh Chatham is there.” Like many others the hospital is part of the reason Bishop settled in Elkin.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.