February Machias – Down East Community Hospital (DECH) has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Emergency Care and for Outpatient Experience by the Women’s Choice Award®, America’s trusted referral source for the best in healthcare. These awards signify DECH is in the top 10% of 4,728 U.S. hospitals offering emergency care and outpatient services. DECH is one of 477 award recipients representing the hospitals that have met the highest standards for emergency care in the U.S. by the Women’s Choice Award and one of 267 award recipients representing the hospitals that have met the highest standards for outpatient experience.
DECH CEO, Steve Lail, on the awards, “We have a great team at DECH who work and support each other to give our community the great care they deserve. Every department has experienced extra stress and strain because of the pandemic which makes this recognition even more meaningful. These awards are a testament to the caring, experienced professionals in our Emergency Department, our OR/Ambulatory Surgery Department, and all those who support them, and we are very proud of our team for providing excellent care.”
Each year, there are more than 130 million emergency room visits in the U.S. Emergency departments continue to be an essential part of the healthcare system as they provide fast, life-or-limb saving care to millions each year. Unlike other hospital departments that interact with the same patient and families for an extended period, ES staffs typically have one patient encounter, often when anxiety and fear is at its peak.
“Emergency departments can be very stressful environments, particularly for the elderly or a mother with a sick or injured child,” said Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women’s Choice Award. “Women make or influence 94% of all healthcare decisions for themselves and others. They want to be confident that they know which emergency departments in their communities will take care of their loved ones quickly and with the best possible care. Knowing the Women’s Choice Award has already placed their seal of excellence on a hospital is immediate validation that they have made the right decision, easing their concern during a very stressful time.”
The methodology for America’s Best Hospitals for Emergency Care award is unique in that it combines Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey results with primary research about women’s healthcare preferences. The award recognizes excellence in emergency care based on several process of care measures focused on time patients spent in the emergency department, including:
- Total Time Spent in the Emergency Department
- Percent of Emergency Patients Who Left Without Being Seen
Criteria for selecting Down East Community Hospital as one of America’s Best also included the percentage of patients who came to the emergency department with stroke symptoms who received brain scan results within 45 minutes of arrival. Also included this year were hospitals that performed well in responding to patients showing symptoms of severe sepsis, a very dangerous condition. The awarded hospitals represent those with emergency departments with average measure times in the highest 25th to 50th percentile in the country. Hospitals received additional credit if they have an accredited trauma center.
The award is especially significant given that long waits and high crowding can negatively impact patient outcomes, including patients leaving without receiving medical treatment, longer overall length of hospital stay and an increase in mortality rates.
“Down East Community Hospital not only performed well clinically with regard to emergency care measures, but they also have a high recommendation rating, which is very important to women when it comes to health-related decisions” says Passi.
DECH has also been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Outpatient Experience by the Women’s Choice Award. Hospitals aiming to provide the most appropriate and value-based care along with advances in technology such as minimally invasive techniques have shifted many patient cases to outpatient settings. As a result, hospitals have made significant strides in providing increased customer service to improve the outpatient experience.
“Overnight stays in the hospital can be very stressful and costly. With the advancement of technology, hospitals are now able to offer more procedures on an outpatient basis which is much more convenient, more affordable and less stressful,” said Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women’s Choice Award. “Women have demanding lifestyles with over 70% of moms employed so making it easy for her to find hospitals that provide the best outpatient experience helps simplify her life.”
The methodology used to select DECH as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Outpatient Experience is exclusive in that it evaluates patient satisfaction measures with a hospital visit based on the criteria in the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey (OAS-CAHPS). The evaluation process is the only national list that focuses on the opinion of females. It is the only award recognizing excellence in outpatient satisfaction based on robust criteria that considers the patient experience and clinical excellence. The categories in the OAS-CAHPS survey are assigned weights based on the feedback received from the Women’s Choice Award Survey. Only hospitals that achieve rankings higher or equal to the national average in communication and care by hospital staff, pre and post-surgical coordination, facility ratings and patients’ recommendation are eligible for the outpatient experience award.
ABOUT THE WOMEN’S CHOICE AWARD®
The Women’s Choice Award for Best Hospitals™ is a trusted referral source and coveted credential that identifies the nation’s best hospitals based on robust criteria that includes relevant clinical performance, patient satisfaction and appropriate accreditations. The Best Hospitals demonstrate exceptional ratings, providing the highest level of care and commitment to their patients’ health and well-being. The Women’s Choice Award is the only designation that takes into consideration the preferences of women when selecting a hospital. Visit http://www.womenschoiceaward.com/ to learn more.