With the new year fast approaching, Lehigh Regional Medical Center officials have been told they lead other Lee County hospitals with recently released data collected by the Joint Commission Quality Check.
The collected data covers such areas as heart attack care, heart failure care, pneumonia care and surgical improvement.
The scores were based in percentage points and LRMC's chief executive officer and administrator, Joanie Jeannette said the report shows the quality of care LRMC patients receive.
"We at LRMC are very proud of the quality of care the report shows. We have excellent nursing staff, and all the associates strive to provide our patients with the best health care and great personal service. I am pleased to see these quality measure scores and they reflect our dedication to the good health of the community," she said.
The hospital is located at 1500 Lee Blvd. on a beautiful campus surrounding by palm trees and tropical plantings. The hospital contains 80 beds, an active volunteer group that serves in the hospital and a new gift shop.
The quality check, recently released, was performed several months ago.
In the area of heart attack care where patients are given statin prescriptions at discharge, LRMC rated 100 percent. Gulf Coast, and Lee Memorial Hospital rated 95 and 91 percent respectively.
The state average was 98 percent and the national average was put at 97 percent.
In the area of heart failure care where patients were given discharge instructions, LRMC came in with a score of 83 percent, leading scores of the other two hospitals. With pneumonia care where patients are given the most appropriate initial antibiotic meds, LRMC scored 100 percent, again higher than the other hospitals. The state average of other hospitals was
Listed at 97 percent and the national average was put at 94 percent. The other two hospitals in the county received a score each of 90 percent.
And finally, LRMC received a score of 99 percent in surgical care improvement meaning that patients who got treatment at the right time to prevent blood clots. LRMC beat the national average of 98 percent at other hospitals.
"We are very proud of this information. We want to work harder to even become better," she said.
Jeanette, who acknowledged that when she came to manage the hospital two years ago, she had heard stories that were negative of the hospital, that had gone back for years.
"We certainly hope we have change that image and I think we have," she said. "It just takes time for people to realize we have a good hospital in Lehigh."
Since Jeannette has been operating the hospital, she has become well-known and respected throughout the community.
She finds time to visit clubs and organizations in the community to talk about the great improvements at LRMC.
She represents the hospital as a member of the Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce and attends Horizon Council meetings in addition to taking part in other organizational activities locally.
"I believe that we all need to stick together in our community. We need to care for each other and that is one of the things we at the hospital want to do is to be the best hospital with the latest technology and procedures.
She talked about recent wait times in LRMC's waiting rooms.
"Last weekend, we had 144 patients to visit the ER with an average wait of two hours and five minutes. This is better than at other hospitals in the area.
"Last Tuesday we had 122 patients and the average wait was a little longer, an hour and 52 minutes," she said. "More seriously sick patients are seen first while other have a little longer wait,": she said.
"LRMC is a good hospital and I say to people to just give us a chance.
"We've changed for the better with much better treatment," she said.
There are 117 doctors on LRMC's staff and Dr. Peter Curcione is the chief of staff. He is an orthopedic surgeon at 3400 Lee Blvd.
"We all work together as a team. That is what is making us more attractive to the residents of Lehigh. We have excellent doctors and we have a great transferal program if a patient needs additional treatment at another facility, she said.