For one of the best patient care experiences in Southern Middle Tennessee, look no further than Maury Regional Health Center.
You see it in almost every television show that’s set in a hospital: the family and loved ones of a patient being pushed out of the hospital room when he or she is in need of emergency medical attention like CPR. Some of you, unfortunately, may have experienced this first hand.
It’s standard practice in almost every hospital in the U.S., but Maury Regional Medical Center wants to provide a different kind of patient care and guest experience.
“In our facilities, family can stay in the room for CPR,” shared Paul Betz, COO. “It takes some of the secrecy out of what our staff is doing. It allows the family to see firsthand how we’re caring for the patient.”
Maury Regional’s 60-plus year history as the largest medical center between Nashville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama is punctuated by the hundreds of patient care stories of the respectful and professional care they received while at the hospital. Its cancer, heart, neurological, orthopedic, surgical, and many other services have been recognized as best in class in the state and country.
The hospital is currently the only acute care hospital in the state and one of only 65 healthcare organizations worldwide to receive the Planetree Designation for Patient-Centered Care since the program was launched in 2007. Maury Regional began its partnership with Planetree in 2011 to streamline its philosophy towards patient-centered care in a healing environment.
“Our culture puts patients first,” said Betz. “Our journey to become a Planetree certified hospital was about designing care that you change to fit the wants—and not just the needs—of the patient.”
“A big part of our patient base is the rural population of Southern Middle Tennessee,” shared Alan Watson, CEO. “We’re always striving to reach the people in the communities we serve. We’re taking care of our friends, families, and neighbors—they’re not just patients.”
A Banner Year
Maury Regional Medical Center ranked number one in Tennessee in 2016 for overall hospital care and overall surgical care in the areas of both medical excellence and patient care safety by CareChex, an information service of Quantros, Inc.
“It really starts with a culture of excellence,” said Watson. “About a decade ago, we asked ourselves what kind of organization we wanted this to be. The answer we continued to return to was one that is constantly pursuing excellence. We wanted to be benchmarking against the top 10 to 25 percent in the country.”
The leaders at the top of the organization on down through the healthcare professionals and volunteers took it upon themselves to pursue this level of excellence in every interaction with a patient.
Cancer for example, are tightly structured around the needs of the person: not just clinically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
The palliative care program, which started two years ago, also goes above and beyond to make sure patients’ needs and last wishes can be attended to. Watson shared a touching moment that was made possible by the palliative care staff: a critical care patient’s last wish was to go outside one more time. The care staff, along with the patient’s family, were able to grant this wish, and surround the patient with their support.
From this to open visitation hours in the critical care unit so that loved ones can visit any time of the day, Maury Regional is setting a new standard in the industry.
“What makes Maury Regional excellent is our staff, physicians, and volunteers,” said Betz. “Add to that the excellent service we provide and the new and better ways we are researching and implementing to provide better care. We benchmark ourselves against the best in the country, and I think it shows.”
The age of some of the equipment at Maury Regional, paired with the pace at which technology is improving, led the facility to invest in new CT and MRI machines and technology. The new machines are faster, offer better clinical outcomes, have higher weight capabilities, and have wider bores to lessen the feeling of claustrophobia while in the machines.
“We are constantly evaluating the technology in our hospital to make sure we are providing our medical staff with the tools they need,” shared Betz.
The hospital recently started a robotic surgery program, and has brought on a urologist trained to use the system.
“This was a service that our hospital didn’t provide previously, but the region had a need for. We’re committed to providing the best equipment for the 200,000 people in Southern Middle Tennessee we serve,” he continued.
In order to be able to continue to provide high quality care to the region, Maury Regional has formed an accountable care organization (ACO) and applied for a Medicare Shared Savings plan. If they are awarded this by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), the hospital will be accountable for a certain number of medicare patients.
“Our goal is to always be working towards improving the health and wellbeing in the communities we serve,” said Betz. “We want to improve all aspects of the care people receive. Being awarded the Medicare Shared Savings plan by CMS is one way we will do this.
“It’s not unique: there are 430 other ACOs in the country. But it’s more about our commitment to improving the health of the population we serve than being unique.”
Both Betz and Watson know there are numerous things that work together to help Maury Regional stand out from the rest. But there is one aspect that truly defines them.
“We can buy the best technology, and have the best facilities,” said Watson, “but without the excellence of our staff, physicians, and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we have for our region and patients.”
Maury Regional Medical Center is the largest medical center between Nashville and Huntsville and has been evaluated by outside organizations and compared to some of the most respected medical centers in the country.
For 2016, Maury Regional Medical Center was ranked number one in Tennessee for overall hospital care and overall surgical care in the areas of both medical excellence and patient safety by CareChex.com® — a division of Comparion®.
1224 Trotwood Ave.
Columbia, TN 38401