By Karen Gorby
Chief Executive Officer/Chief Nursing Officer, Angel Medical Center
Angel Medical Center (AMC) has some good news to share. An important part of providing the best care possible for our patients is reaching for excellence. This is reflected not only in how our caregivers treat our patients every day, but in the benchmarks we identify and work toward within every division of the hospital.
First, I’m happy to announce that we just received our Pathways to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This designation is momentous because it means that AMC has been deemed a workplace that seeks to inspire our staff and ensure that they feel an active part of a healthy, proactive institutional culture. Even more importantly, the application process required that our own nursing staff declare that their workplace experiences meet the high standards that Pathways to Excellence has defined. The designation also reflects the fact that we successfully recruit the best and the brightest nurses – and that they remain invested members of AMC staff.
Among the many things that the ANCC reviews when a hospital applies to get designated is the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) survey that measures nurse satisfaction and invites feedback on everything from their thoughts on the hospital culture and CEO/CNO accessibility to patient safety and how well their hospital supports education and advancement for its nurses. Of course, the survey makes patient care a top priority, too.
Nurses are obviously key players in the care quality at any hospital, but to become a Pathways to Excellence hospital, we needed to show that every nurse, from those who care for patients at the bedside to others in administrative leadership roles, are valued, encouraged, and offered ongoing educational and professional opportunities. Engaged nurses influence everything at AMC, from the patient outcomes to our fiscal stability, and they even impact our community-at-large.
We’re thrilled to have earned the Pathways to Excellence designation because it means our own nurses feel supported, respected, and listened to, and that can only lead to better experiences for our patients.
Another piece of good news is that we just earned recertification for our CT and MRI departments. This was granted by the highly respected American College of Radiology (ACR). Accreditation lets our patients and the world know that we provide the highest quality, most safely delivered imaging, that our imaging equipment meets all necessary requirements, and that the staff who provide imaging services to our patients deliver the highest quality care. Angel Medical Center is also a registered facility for mammography, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound. In addition, AMC has received special recognition as a Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center and is a supporter of Image Gently™, which is sponsored by the Alliance of Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. It means that we administer CT imaging for children with radiation doses that are carefully measured and appropriate for them.
AMC is also fully accredited for echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Echocardiography is an imaging modality that uses sound waves to examine how well a patient’s heart is functioning.
Finally, we’re proud to share that we continue to be certified as an Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital, and we were the first hospital in the western region to earn this designation. With stroke, every second is absolutely critical when it comes to initiating treatment and preserving a patient’s brain function.
Our designation says that our staff members are part of a multidisciplinary collaborative team that includes EMS team members who meet on a monthly basis to continually refine stroke care. When a stroke call goes into effect, we at the hospital are alerted and meet EMS in the ambulance bay the minute they arrive with the patient. Our radiology department and lab are alerted and ready to act. Fortunately we have telehealth capabilities which allow us to consult with neurologists at Mission Hospital also. We must also be ready to transport a stroke patient to Mission Hospital if they require surgery, whether via EMS or MAMA air transport.
One example of how stroke protocol was improved came from an idea that an EMS staff member devised. They realized that significant time could be saved if they drew blood from the patient while en route to AMC so it could be analyzed immediately upon arrival. We also reach out to the community by providing stroke drills to educate the public about stroke symptoms and treatment. It’s this type of innovative thinking that ultimately touches patients and raises care standards.
Being an Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital means that, aside from collaborating with EMS and interdepartmentally within the hospital and the larger health system, that we have staff who are trained in stroke care available all day every day, and have imaging and lab capabilities to serve stroke patients. These best practices for stroke care are reviewed and assessed by partners the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
I highlight these accomplishments to let our community know that the most advanced and sophisticated care is offered right here at AMC. We consistently meet the highest standards across multiple disciplines, and I want our community members to feel extremely confident in the care they will receive at AMC.
Karen S. Gorby, RN, MSN, MBA, CENP, FACHE, is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Angel Medical Center. Gorby is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). For nearly three decades, she has served hospitals and health systems in Ohio before assuming her role at Angel Medical Center. Gorby received her MSN from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine, and her MBA from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio.