Rated best in the region
By SHERRY DIGMON
The administration and staff of Atmore Community Hospital have something to be proud of – and something all of Atmore can be proud of.
The hospital recently received a Four-Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – and Atmore Community Hospital is the only hospital in lower Alabama and most of the Florida panhandle to earn a rating this high. ACH has earned as high as a Three-Star Rating in the past, but this is a first for the Four-Star Rating. (A Five-Star Rating is the highest and is very rare.)
The overall star ratings measure quality of care and include mortality rates, safety of care, readmission rates, patient experience, and timely / effective care.
“This really goes to show that exceptional care is being given right here in Atmore, despite having fewer resources than some of the larger systems in the area,” ACH Administrator Brad Lowery said. “To have the highest rating of all of the hospitals in the lower Alabama area when it comes to quality measures shows a commitment of the ACH staff to the patients and to this community that is leading the charge. This team is truly engaged in offering a high level of care and that starts with our physician staff and our clinical leadership.”
“Our team should be proud of themselves,” ACH Director of Nursing Suzanne McGill said. “They continue to prioritize quality care for our patients, and I believe that is evident from the 2022 CMS overall star rating. This is our community and our managers and their teams take pride in making sure our patients receive the best care possible here at home.
“This is what we strive for. Our employees achieved these scores … But it’s not just about the score. It’s about patient experience. We’re not perfect but we’re trying.”
Lowery agreed with McGill’s praise for the employees, but also included her in the accolades.
“Suzanne and her staff pay attention to detail,” he said. “They offer quality care. That’s evident when you consider Atmore Community Hospital’s rating is higher than that of Gulf Breeze, Mobile Infirmary, Jay Hospital, North Baldwin Infirmary … This ranking is based on objective data. It means Atmore Community Hospital offers the highest quality care in lower Alabama.”
The CMS overall star ratings are updated annually and are public information. These ratings can be viewed at https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/. CMS uses these objective measures in an attempt to give the public information on how hospitals are performing from a quality standpoint in order to make more informed decisions on care. McGill and Lowery encourage the public to visit the CMS website to help in making decisions about their medical care.
“The CMS Four-Star rating can be directly attributed to the focus on quality patient care given by our wonderful staff from all departments of the hospital,” said Jeff Booth, Escambia County Health Care Authority CEO. “This is a great team accomplishment and we will continue to push to find more ways to improve every patient visit.”
McGill added one thought about the ACH team.
“If anything positive could be said about Covid, we grew as a team,” she said. “We couldn’t transfer patients – no beds were available in other hospitals. We kept our patients here and our team pulled together.”