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One of America’s Best Emergency Care Hospitals

Rockcastle Regional Hospital has been named a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award® (WCA) as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Emergency Care. This coveted credential places Rockcastle Regional Hospital in the top one percent for emergency care, which was achieved by less than 10% of the emergency rooms that report data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

“We are exceptionally proud to be receiving this honor for our emergency care,” said Stephen A. Estes, president and CEO of Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center. “We place a tremendous focus on making our emergency department a place of excellence for both quality care and patient experience. This recognition tells us our efforts are continuing to make a positive impact for our patients.”

Emergency services account for more than 125 million hospital visits annually, and all clinicians must have expertise in caring for patients across their life span, often when their healthcare needs are urgent and unplanned and patients’ anxiety and fear are at their peak.

Hospitals earning the Emergency Care Award consistently rank in the top 25 percent of the 3,800 hospitals reporting on their emergency department’s performance to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The eight measures CMS publicly reports relate primarily to the amount of time taken in the ER such as time for diagnosis, medication, and admission to the hospital, and are weighted according to the priorities of women surveyed.

A hospital can be eliminated from the award if it falls outside the 25th percentile for two or more of the eight measures, depending on their importance. The award is also limited to those hospitals with a solid recommendation on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.

Of the eight measures reported by emergency departments to CMS, women rate “door to diagnostic time” or in other words, “door to doctor,” as the most important criteria when selecting an emergency room.

Of the “door to doctor” measure, emergency department coordinator Patti Halcomb, RN, says it is one of the areas Rockcastle Regional Hospital has been working on diligently over the past few years.
“We track the number of minutes each patient spends in our department, from the moment they enter, to the time they are discharged, and every step in between. We continually review these numbers to see how we can improve the wait time, and ultimately making a better experience and health outcomes for our patients,” said Halcomb.

Information gained from tracking wait times has revealed an increased need for “rapid care.” As a result, Rockcastle Regional Hospital will open its first QuickCare Clinic on the first floor of the Outpatient Services Building. The new clinic is scheduled to open January 11 and will be available to patients as a limited services clinic.

“The opening of the quick care clinic expands the variety of services for our patients,” said Estes. “It is another example of how we continue to deliver on our mission to provide convenient access to quality care, here in this community.”

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