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PMH receives award from Studer Group

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital employees with the Flame Award presented by the Studer Group. Front row, from left: Terry Wagner, Mary Walkup, Angela Williamson, Sally Parks, Crystal Bond, Cheryl Cain, Yvette Rider, Brandy Moore, Lori Novak, Barbara Lay, Sara Casto, Kathy Irvine, Joyce Doss, Velma Wilfong, Susan Wilkins, Alexa Rogers and Samantha Hefner. Second row, from left: Jeffry Pilney, Ronda Shaw, Lisa Scott, Kerrie Ridgeway, Katie Brown, Edwina Garber, Stephen Knight, Robbie Pyles, Billy Click, Wanessa Cassell, Ernie Pollard, Shannon Starcher, Vonnie O’Brien, Pam Moore, Ashley Pritt and Tracy Alderman. S. Stewart photo
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital employees with the Flame Award presented by the Studer Group. Front row, from left: Terry Wagner, Mary Walkup, Angela Williamson, Sally Parks, Crystal Bond, Cheryl Cain, Yvette Rider, Brandy Moore, Lori Novak, Barbara Lay, Sara Casto, Kathy Irvine, Joyce Doss, Velma Wilfong, Susan Wilkins, Alexa Rogers and Samantha Hefner. Second row, from left: Jeffry Pilney, Ronda Shaw, Lisa Scott, Kerrie Ridgeway, Katie Brown, Edwina Garber, Stephen Knight, Robbie Pyles, Billy Click, Wanessa Cassell, Ernie Pollard, Shannon Starcher, Vonnie O’Brien, Pam Moore, Ashley Pritt and Tracy Alderman. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

In 2011, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital began a partnership with the Studer Group, a healthcare coaching business. In the past five years, the partnership has helped PMH to become a better healthcare provider in Pocahontas County.

Due to its improvements, the Studer Group selected PMH as the June Health Care Organization of the Month and presented the Flame Award to the hospital.

According to the Studer Group, the Flame Award received its name because, “in early civilization fire was essential to life. People used fires to keep warm, cook food, light the way in darkness and as protection from enemies. Without fire, people would perish… Studer Group is dedicated to helping ‘fire starters’ find the light again and to sharing the stories of how they are changing the face of healthcare today. Each month, we recognize a Health Care Organization of the Month that has achieved remarkable results and share their stories through our website so that all can benefit from the successes.”

PMH public relations and special projects coordinator Susan Wilkins said this is the first Organization of the Month award the hospital has received from the Studer Group and employees should be proud of the achievement.

“They chose us for the month of June because we’ve been having such good results with putting in place their practices,” Wilkins said. “I think it’s obvious that the hospital’s a better place now than it was five years ago. That’s partially because of Studer, but is also because of the people who are here.”

Wilkins explained that the Studer Group assisted the hospital in identifying problem areas, as well as ways to improve employee and patient experiences.

Through Studer programs, employee and physician engagement increased from 2.4 percent in both categories to 4.7 and 4.3 percent respectively since 2011. The emergency department’s overall rating increased from the 92nd percentile to the 96th percentile rank in the last two years. In finance, PMH reduced accounts receivable days from 152 to 55.9 and increased net operating margin from 12.75 percent in 2011 to 2.78 percent in 2015.

The hospital has improved exponentially and has been asked by Studer Group to present at the 2016 “What’s Right in Health Care” conference.
“That’s a big deal for us,” Wilkins said.

PMH has also received two Studer Group national awards for Excellence in Patient Care and was named Business of the Year for 2016 by the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce.

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