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High Marks From Patients for Ambulatory Services at Newton Medical Center Get Applause From Press Gainey
NEWTON, NJ, SEPTEMBER 2011 – Newton Medical Center’s Ambulatory Services department was recently congratulated by Press Ganey for its high patient satisfaction scores.
The ambulatory surgery department’s mean score in Overall Satisfaction increased by 1.7 from the first to the second quarter of 2011 – a statistically significant rise, according to Press Ganey, an organization which measures hospital quality and performance.
In a letter to Newton Medical Center’s president, Thomas Senker, a representative of Press Ganey congratulated the hospital for its score, stating that NMC’s "hard work and dedication to quality improvement," were evident in the increase.
Ambulatory Services includes Same Day Surgery, pre-anesthesia screening and the Minor Surgery Unit. The department works collaboratively with the main operating room, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and the pediatrics unit to prepare and care for patients ranging from children to the elderly who require surgery. The Minor Surgery Unit performs many procedures including endoscopies, stereotactic breast biopsies, chemotherapy and other IV infusions.
The department has undertaken several initiatives to enhance the overall patient experience.
"Our team puts a great emphasis in developing a relationship with the many patients who come here," said Donna Volpe, RN, nurse manager of perioperative and maternal child health services. “We not only believe it helps put the patient at ease, but also helps us gain a better perspective of the individual patient and allows us to provide better care."
In the days leading up to surgery, Ambulatory staff will contact a patient to give him or her an overview of how the scheduled surgery will go, as well as answer any questions the patient might have. On the day of surgery, the operating room nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons from the OR team visit the patient in Same Day prior to surgery to introduce themselves and review the patient’s history with him or her. In addition, pediatric patients are admitted and prepped in the pediatric unit and PACU to make them more comfortable prior to surgery.
During the surgery, family members and caregivers are kept apprised of their loved ones’ progress, via an electronic monitor board in the waiting room. After the surgery, ambulatory staff will contact the patient again to follow up on his or her progress and recovery.
Volpe noted that because Ambulatory Services is the hub of many different procedures, its nurses and other staff are cross-trained, allowing them to take care of varying patient needs.
"It’s very much a team approach, and cross-training has definitely been a positive," Volpe said. "My staff does a tremendous job. They put the patient first and take pride in their work."