By BECKY GILLETTE
Forrest General Hospital, a 512-bed facility that serves a 19-county region, recently racked up a number of prestigious quality awards, including ranking in the top 100 hospitals nationwide for patient safety in overall medical care.
The awards and rankings were presented by CareChex, an information service of Quantros, Inc. that provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, outcomes of care, and patient experiences. CareChex rated the hospital number one in the market for patient safety and the hospital was ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation for medical excellence in overall medical care.
Evan Dillard, president and CEO of Forrest Health, said providing excellent care is only possible with outstanding physicians, employees and volunteers.
“We are extremely grateful for their ability to care for patients in such an exceptional manner resulting in the best possible outcomes for our patients,” Dillard said.
Forrest General is accredited by DNV GL–Healthcare. That means the hospital has demonstrated it meets or exceeds patient safety standards set forth by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Steven Farrell, MD, chief medical officer, Forrest General Hospital.
“DNV GL’s accreditation program involves annual hospital surveys – instead of every three years,” Farrell said. “We appreciate having these constant evaluations to gauge our performance. Additionally, we partner with Press Ganey, a consulting firm that helps our hospital by focusing on patient satisfaction and feedback. We appreciate the valuable feedback we get from our patients and use it to make our patients’ experiences even better as we move forward. The hospital also has several internal programs recognizing employees who have gone above and beyond to care for our patients. These things are all part of our strategy to ensure patients are receiving high quality healthcare.”
Farrell said in many areas, Forrest General ranked high compared to all hospitals nationally–not just to state or local hospitals.
“I would attribute our success to our highly skilled surgeons and staff of healthcare professionals,” Farrell said. “We all share a commitment to bringing the highest quality healthcare to the people we serve, and I see that commitment reflected in our high rankings.
Strong working relationships between our physicians and nurses and teamwork across the board are both essential components in providing patients with the high quality healthcare they deserve. Each member of our team, from medical staff to environmental services, is an important part of achieving medical excellence and maintaining patient safety. These care providers are experts in their fields and help Forrest General bring world class care to the Pine Belt area.”
When it comes to emergency care, Farrell said Forrest General’s Emergency Center is among the most modern and advanced emergency facilities available. The Emergency Center includes a total of 59 rooms, including 10 acute care rooms, 45 emergent care rooms and four minor care rooms in addition to a decontamination room. The Emergency Center sees more than 80,000 patients a year–about 240 a day, on average.
“Forrest General’s Trauma Center combines the latest technology with exceptional physicians and staff to provide emergent care to critically-injured trauma patients throughout the Southeast Trauma Care Region,” Farrell said. “Forrest General was the first hospital in Mississippi designated as a level II trauma center by the Mississippi State Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Trauma Services is staffed by board-certified trauma surgeons, an in-house anesthesiologist who is available 24-hours a day, and provides 24-hour coverage for neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, maxillofacial surgery, otolaryngology, urology, and interventional radiology. The trauma center features dedicated trauma bays with state-of-the-art technology and dedicated operating rooms.”
In January 2016, Forrest General became the first hospital in Mississippi to receive the Baby-Friendly designation from Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. Farrell said another outstanding feature is Forrest Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The unit is used to care for premature, underweight and/or sick babies requiring the highest level of care after birth.
“The Forrest General Neonatal Transport Team features a specially designed NICU transport ambulance and has the great responsibility of traveling to outlying facilities in our 19-county area to bring at-risk infants back to Forrest General,” Farrell said. “Our NICU consists of a total of 23 beds, divided between an intensive care unit, intermediate care nursery and isolation room for critically ill infants.
“Additionally, our Women’s Surgery Center is dedicated to women’s gynecology health and is aesthetically pleasing with a warm and personal environment that is designed to feel more like home. This dedicated private area also provides skilled nursing care, pre-operative and post-operative care and convenience, all in one location—a women’s specialty hospital within a hospital.”
Investing in the latest medical technology is a priority.
“Staying at the forefront of medical technology and bringing these advancements to South Mississippi reflect our vision to define the healthcare experience by providing world class care,” Farrell said. “In the past year alone, Forrest General introduced four innovative new heart procedures. These procedures offered minimally invasive options for patients who are not eligible for traditional open heart surgery. Because of this technology, our higher risk patients have hope for a healthier future and a better quality of life.”
Also, this past month, Forrest General Hospital unveiled LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™ that are being used to destroy potentially lethal germs and bacteria that can pose a risk to patient and employee safety.
“Forrest General is the first hospital in south Mississippi to tap into a technology and added layer of protection that uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens,” Farrell said. “We take great pride in providing better access to these state of the art procedures for people living in Mississippi.”