HMH Employees Rank System Among Best in Country

May 16, 2017

Hardin Memorial Health employees ranked the healthcare system in the 80th percentile

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – Hardin Memorial Health employees ranked the healthcare system in the 80th percentile among more than 2,200 hospitals and healthcare systems surveyed across the country, officials reported at the HMH Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday.

Eighty-nine percent of employees would recommend HMH to their family and friends. HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson called this ranking the highest seal of approval.

“We have incredible HMH team members who love what they do and working together and it shows,” said Johnson. “Although we still have much work to do, we have created a culture and a health system we all believe in and recommend.”

Press Ganey is the industry leader among healthcare advisors. More than 1 million healthcare employees nationwide complete the survey annually. The survey responses create an understanding of employees’ overall commitment to their jobs and their perception of the healthcare system.

All HMH employees – both clinical and non-clinical were emailed the Press Ganey Employee Engagement Survey and 82 percent of HMH employees chose to participate. 

HMH Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Myra Covault presented the findings at the HMH Board of Trustees meeting and shared details of the overwhelmingly positive response.

“Ninety-one percent of employees said that HMH cares about its patients and demonstrates a commitment to provide safe, error-free care,” said Covault.

Covault said the survey results also indicated a strong sense of belonging amongst the workforce and a respect for leadership and management.

“That does not happen by accident,” said Covault. “HMH made a concerted effort to ensure each member of the team knows they are valued and we have developed opportunities to grow professionally.” 

For HMH registered nurses, those opportunities include pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing on site through McKendree University. The inaugural class of 10 nurses recently completed the program. This, along with other nurse development programs, is why Covault said the nursing staff ranked HMH even higher than other employee groups, scoring working at HMH in the 86th percentile nationwide.

In the face of a national nursing shortage, Covault attributes HMH’s low nursing turnover rate in large part to the system’s investment in nursing professional development.

“Investing in employees always makes sense,” said Covault. “We know having engaged employees has a direct impact on job performance, absenteeism, recruitment, retention and most importantly, patient care.”

Covault said that with any survey, there are always opportunities for improvement and that HMH will take the findings and develop ways to further improve collaboration and communication.

Covault added that being a top ranked healthcare system does not come easily in the tumultuous nature of the healthcare industry. She said HMH cannot rest on its laurels.

“We have to be steadfast in our work to maintain this level of engagement,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have committed physicians, nurses, administrators and staff at all levels with a singular focus of taking care of patients.”

Press Ganey’s Kristy Gay echoed Covault’s sentiments. 

“Employee engagement is a proactive endeavor, but it’s well worth it,” said Gay. “Research tells us that engaged, confident employees provide better patient care and a better patient experience, so HMH patients and the whole team should be pleased with these results.” 

In other board news:

HMH Hospital Safety Grade Improves. Johnson shared more positive news with the board. The Leapfrog Group released its bi-annual hospital safety grades in April, giving Hardin Memorial Health a “B,” up from its “C” grade last fall. The national nonprofit evaluates and reports on safety and quality performance of more than 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Of the 51 hospitals rated in Kentucky, 16 received a “B” rating. Twelve received an “A” rating. Leapfrog looks at publicly available measures of safety – inpatient injuries, infections, and medical and medication errors.

Physician Introduction. HMH Chief Medical Officer John Godfrey introduced the board to Aleksander Smith, M.D. Smith is an Ear Nose and Throat specialist at HMH Medical Group Ear Nose and Throat in the Cool Springs Shopping Plaza in Elizabethtown. Smith joined the team in 2016. He spends each Thursday in Meade County at the HMH Diagnostic Center, Brandenburg seeing patients as well.

Financials. Also at the meeting, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lennis Thompson presented the April financial report. Thompson reported a $2.5 million loss for the month driven largely by lower inpatient and outpatient volumes.

Antimicrobial Stewardship. HMH Pharmacist Ashleigh Mouser shared details of the HMH Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Program designed to minimize the harmful effects of inappropriate antibiotic use. Mouser said over prescribing antibiotics increases drug resistance and impacts patient safety and patient care. The HMH AMS program tracks antibiotic prescribing and resistance patterns, reports on antibiotic use and outcomes and educates the clinical staff. Mouser said they are seeing positive results and will remain vigilant in their efforts.

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