December 2, 2013

Elizabethtown Community Hospital earns Excellence Award


ELIZABETHTOWN — Patient-satisfaction scores for its Emergency Department won Elizabethtown Community Hospital a 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award.

The honor, from Press Ganey Associates Inc., recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in patient satisfaction.

The firm is a health-care survey specialist that was brought on board by ECH in 2011 to survey patients and measure their satisfaction level in an objective and independent fashion.


ECH’s Emergency Department treats more than 5,500 patients annually, operating 24 hours a day, a press release from the hospital said

It cares for trauma patients, critical-care patients, individuals injured in accidents, stroke victims, heart-attack victims ...

“The staff is accustomed to dealing with a variety of serious situations,” the release said. “In fact, the Emergency Department handles life-threatening, critical-care and trauma (cases) on a regular basis. 

“Staff assesses and manages patient care when there is limited information and limited time to treat.”


According to Registered Nurse Julie Tromblee, director of patient services, the Emergency Department is one of the hospital’s busiest areas, utilizing the resources of the entire hospital. 

“While the Guardian of Excellence Award is focused on the emergency room, it would be a significant mistake to exclude other hospital departments,” she said. 

“Part of what makes an award-winning patient experience in this Emergency Department is the constant support of radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, housekeeping, transport drivers, information technology and nurses from the inpatient unit. 

“Patients who need emergency care at this facility often encounter lab and radiology staff, along with housekeeping and ECH transport staff as extensions of that care. 

“Everyone in the building works to ensure a superior patient experience.”


The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a health-care industry symbol of achievement, the release said. 

Fewer than 5 percent of all Press Ganey clients reach that threshold and consistently maintain it for the one-year reporting period. 

Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health-care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve the patient experience.

According to Denise Plano, chief clinical and quality officer at ECH, the hospital is always working to improve. 

“Staff is constantly working to find better and more innovative ways of providing patient care in each department,” she said. “Patient surveys allow the hospital to understand its strengths, from a patient perspective, while identifying opportunities for change and improvement.”


Feedback from patients is an important component of providing quality care, the release said.

For a number of years, ECH has been monitoring patients’ experiences through surveys mailed out by each hospital department. 

“We are proud to partner with Elizabethtown Community Hospital,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “Achieving this level of excellence reflects the organization’s commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. The hospital’s efforts benefit patients throughout the area and will lead to improved patient experiences.”

Learn more about Press Ganey at