• Photo by Roxanne Thompson/The Mexia News
    Parkview Regional Hospital personnel demonstrate how bedside shift reporting works as the nursing shift just ending confers with the shift just coming on for duty. Shown here are LVN Kaci Hamilton, at front, playing the role of the patient, RN Karen Tucker, standing at left, reading the bedside chart, and RN Dena Looney, at rear, checking the computer file. The hospital’s emphasis on improved communication has resulted in Parkview’s recently being rated a four-star hospital, up from its former three-star rating.

Parkview Regional now rated 4 stars

By Roxanne Thompson, Staff Writer

Administrators of Parkview Regional Hospital, in Mexia, announced in January that the hospital is now rated four-star, which puts it in the top 40 percent of all hospitals in the United States. The rating was given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, or CMS.

Parkview CEO Bob Honeycutt attributes the improved rating to continual improvements the hospital has made over the past three years that resulted in a better experience for patients and improved communication among the caregivers and support staff.

Assistant Chief Nursing Officer Edwina Henry concurs. She and Honeycutt spoke recently on the improved rating.

“We didn’t focus on any one particular thing,” she said. “We just focused on the patient’s and family’s experience and expanded from that, making sure that these initiatives were important to the patient. The one thing we worked on more than anything was communication.”

As might be expected, Henry, Honeycutt and other Parkview administrators and staff are very happy to have this positive rating.

“We’re really excited about this designation,” Honeycutt said, “because it does several things for our hospital. We worked extremely hard with our clinical leadership team in order to build a culture of patient safety, and with good, high-quality outcomes and high patient satisfaction.”

CMS’ rating system for hospitals evaluates each facility on different points, such as mortality rates, patient satisfaction, re-admission, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and the use of imaging. The hospitals are rated from 1 to 5, five being the best. 

“On like-standards, we’re performing extremely well,” Honeycutt said, “and that’s something for us to be extremely proud of. It justifies what we already know, we already know that we provide high-quality care in a very safe environment.”

He credits the hard work of Henry and the hospital’s clinical team with making the improvements that resulted in the higher rating, mainly through four initiatives: bedside shift reporting, improved teamwork, preventing re-admissions and proactively assessing processes and systems.

Rather than concentrate on the improved rating itself, they concentrated on making these improvements, trusting that would pay off, which it apparently did.


Bedside shift reporting

Recurring themes in the improvements the hospital has made are better communication among the health care providers and improving the patients’ experience. Bedside shift reporting, which refers to the hand-off of the patient from shift to shift, does both. The shift going off duty talks to the oncoming nursing personnel at the very bedside of the patient. The patient and family are included in this consultation, in part so they will have more knowledge about the patient’s condition and care.

“We include the patient’s family, their support structure,” Honeycutt said. “We also on occasion bring our board members by, once we get the right documentation signed, so they’re involved in that to show the board is supporting what the hospital is doing.”

Bedside shift reporting was difficult at first, Henry said, but it makes the patient and family members better team members with the health care providers. 

“It gave the patient’s family opportunities to ask questions and even be a partner with us in keeping them safe,” she said. “Because the more they know about what treatments, medications and tests they’re supposed to be having, the more empowered they are to raise their hand and say, ‘Wait a minute, I’ve already had that done,’ or just in case there is a miscommunication, we need them to partner with us to know as much about what’s going on as possible and to have the power to speak up if they think that something could be done better or doesn’t seem right to them.”


Improved teamwork

Each morning, the staff of the hospital’s different departments that provide clinical care or support the clinical areas meet as a team to discuss each patient in the facility. Questions they might ask: Where are they in their length of stay? Are they getting what they need? Is their pain controlled? Are they in a safe environment? The attendees also discuss what might be happening in the next couple of days with the patient. They might look at the surgery schedule and see what surgeries are going to be performed that day and check to see whether those patients need to be admitted to the hospital, and if so, whether the right staff is available for them. Is the right area available for them? Is physical therapy available, if needed?

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

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