SMITHVILLE, Texas - (April 11, 2012) - Patients at
Smithville Regional Hospital's emergency room are among the
most satisfied in the country, according to recent survey data.
Patient satisfaction scores there have nearly tripled over the
past nine months, thanks to customer service initiatives aimed
at improving patients' experience and the quality of care.
The percentage of emergency room patients who said that the overall quality of care they received was "excellent" rose from 26.5 percent in July 2011 to 73.5 percent in January 2012, the most recent month for which complete data are available.
Furthermore, the emergency department's patient satisfaction ranking is now in the top one percent of all hospitals nationwide rated by PRC Inc., the company that administers patient surveys for the Seton Healthcare Family.
Dr. Nicholas Steinour, Emergency Department Medical Director, says the results are a testament to the quality of care at the Smithville hospital.
"We provide fast service, patient comfort and
state-of-the-art health care in your back yard with the
resource support of the entire Seton Healthcare Family,"
Steinour said. "It's really the best of both worlds for Bastrop
County: big-city care in the comfort of your hometown."
With the help of Keri Pierson, ER nurse manager, and Clare Shelton, chief nursing officer, Steinour and the emergency department implemented several customer-focused initiatives to improve the patient experience.
"We worked hard to maximize efficiency in the system to decrease wait times and delays in patient care," Steinour said. "Every member of the team is responsible for keeping patients informed about their visit and notifying the patient and family if there is a delay due to other emergencies, ambulance traffic and the like. We also changed our admission process to get patients who will be in the hospital for further care down to the inpatient floor, where they have a more comfortable and quiet room."
The Smithville facility, located southeast of Austin, is the only emergency department within a 20-mile radius and the only emergency facility located between Smithville and Austin. The level IV trauma center serves the Central Texas communities of Smithville, Bastrop, Cedar Creek, Elgin, Schulenburg and surrounding areas.
The six-bed emergency department treats about 13,000 patients per year.
"Bastrop County is a fast-growing community. As the population grows, it is important to have facilities that can meet the health care needs of its citizens," Steinour said. "The great thing about Seton Smithville Regional Hospital is that we are a full-service hospital providing high-quality care without having to make the drive to Austin."
Austin-based Emergency Service Partners, L.P., assumed responsibility for medical management and staffing of the Seton Smithville Regional Hospital emergency department in 2011. Steinour joined the staff shortly before the Seton Healthcare Family acquired the hospital last July.
"We're very proud of what we've been able to accomplish in Smithville," Steinour said.