Hospital’s improved ‘work culture’ praised



March 23, 2016 - 12:00 AM

“There’s a charge in the air. An excitement about the change,” is how Patty McGuffin, director of nursing, described the months-long effort at Allen County Regional Hospital to improve the work culture there.

“We have this really great phenomenon going on,” McGuffin told hospital trustees at their meeting Tuesday night.

And it’s not all talk.

McGuffin shared detailed graphs that indicated a sharp increase in patient satisfaction since last fall.

The studies are conducted by HealthStream, a company that works to improve hospital management, McGuffin said.

“It’s taught us to teach to the test,” McGuffin said. “The surveys make us analyze our own performance and to ask ourselves some tough questions.” 

Being fully present makes a difference, she said.

The surveys challenge staff to evaluate whether, “I’m a ‘sometimes’ nurse, or a ‘sometimes’ lab tech,” McGuffin said. “In this business, ‘sometimes’ isn’t good enough.”

Results are compilations of phone interviews with patients after they have received treatment at ACRH. 

The hospital is ranked against 3,500 other hospitals across the country. Allen County bested the median scores across the board, including patient satisfaction with the nursing staff and physicians, pain management, and satisfaction with the facility. 



IN OTHER news:

 — A rheumatologist based St. Luke’s Hospital in Overland Park will begin seeing patients in Iola in mid-April. Dr. Aruna Baratham will see patients at the hospital’s clinic on South Washington Avenue once a month, said Tony Thompson, hospital chief executive officer. 

— On April 30, those interested in developing a medical arts building on the grounds of the new hospital will meet.

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