‘Best care right here:’ Blount Memorial again receives top hospital grade
By J.J. Kindred | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the second straight year, Blount Memorial Hospital was graded as one of the top hospitals in the nation by the independent health care ratings organization Healthgrades.
Representatives from the organization were on hand Thursday afternoon to present the hospital with several awards during a brief presentation, including the Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence for the second year in a row. BMH was reportedly the only hospital in East Tennessee to receive the honor.
The hospital was also recognized for being one of America’s best 100 hospitals for pulmonary care, gastrointestinal care and general surgery. It ranked in the top 10 of each of those categories for various services performed in each area.
“Thousands of people have come through those doors every day since 1947, and a lot of times they are the hardest and most difficult times,” said Don Heinemann, the hospital’s CEO. “It’s a hard job. We can measure quality, but you can’t the measure love, compassion and the warmth our team demonstrates every day. I’m proud of them and proud to be an employee of Blount Memorial Hospital.
“Two things make us unique. The first thing is about quality — it never stops,” Heinemann continued. “We value trying to get better and make continuous improvement. We’re celebrating today as a recognition. The second thing is to stop every once in a while to celebrate your successes.”
Katherine Henschen, senior director of client development for Healthgrade, said personally presenting the awards was her favorite thing to do with her clients.
“Every hospital claims they care, but how do you know if you’re going to get the best for your own health needs? It is my privilege to be here today to tell you that you’re one of the best in the country,” Henschen said.
“We evaluate millions of hospitals nationwide, and we compare you to hospitals in New York and Miami,” Henschen added, “and the General Excellence award means that you’re in the top 5 percent in the nation, so you measure up.”
Hal Naramore, chief medical officer, praised the hospital for its awards and accomplishments.
“This validates the care that we do,” he said. “We’ve received several awards in top 5 percent in the country. What it shows is the care we give in Blount County is better than everybody else. The community should know they don’t have to go anyplace else. They can get the best care right here.”
Dr. Deaver Shattuck, hospitalist and past chief of the hospital’s medical staff, said despite the challenges the hospital faces, the dedication the staff shows is second to none.
“We feel like we’re one of the best,” he said. “It’s not a competition. We want to be the best we can be. We’ve got a lot of dedicated people and realized there are a lot of family members that get their health care here. It’s very personal, and we take it seriously. It’s extra validation that we’re doing a good job.”
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Denver, Healthgrades helps consumers make informed choices about America’s health care providers. According to its web site, more than 200 million consumers come to the Healthgrades online network to research and select a new doctor or hospital, and to find trusted health information to help them make more informed decisions for themselves and their families.