EAMC News

EAMC Ranks Among Top 10% of Hospitals Nationally (May 2015)

For the eighth straight year, East Alabama Medical Center ranked among the top 10 percent of the nation in Overall Orthopedic Services, according to Healthgrades, the leading online consumer resource for researching hospitals and physicians. Additionally, EAMC ranked among the top 10 percent nationally for the fourth straight year for Outstanding Patient Experience and among the top 10 percent nationwide for Patient Safety for 2015.

Healthgrades measurements are based upon lowest risk-adjusted complications. The organization’s annual report, American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, evaluates hospital performance at more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 31 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions.

The report also highlights the disparity in hospital performance for specific conditions and procedures and the impact variations may have on health outcomes. A 5-star rating indicates clinical outcomes are better than expected when treating the condition or conducting the procedure being evaluated.

EAMC's 2015 Healthgrades Awards/Recognition

Top 10% in the Nation!

  • Overall Orthopedic Services for 8 years in a row (2008-2015)
  • Spine Surgery for 3 years in a row (2013-2015)
  • Outstanding Patient Experience for 4 years in a row (2012-2015)
  • Treatment of Stroke for 2 years in a row (2014-2015)
  • Patient Safety (2015)
Excellence Awards
  • Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ for 8 years in a row (2008-2015)
  • Spine Surgery Excellence Award™ for 2 years in a row (2014-2015)
  • Stroke Care Excellence Award™ for 2 years in a row (2014-2015)
5 Stars
  • Hip Fracture Treatment for 8 years in a row (2008-2015)
  • Spinal Fusion Surgery for 6 years in a row (2010-2015)
  • Treatment of Stroke for 2 years in a row (2013-2015)
  • Peripheral Vascular Bypass for 2 years in a row (2014-2015)
Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ for 4 years in a row (2012-2015)

EAMC Attests for Meaningful Use Stage 2 (August 2014)

There are 5,723 registered hospitals in the United States and as of July 31, only 78 of them have attested for Meaningful Use Stage 2. Thanks to the hard work of many employees, EAMC is one of those 78 hospitals. With only 78 out of 5,723 hospitals attesting so far, that puts EAMC in the top 1.3 percent of hospitals to reach Meaningful Use Stage 2. As of June 30, only 10 hospitals had attested. EAMC and EAMC-Lanier attested as a system on July 11. By combining our efforts, we were able to meet 19 very specific and challenging measures, plus clinical quality measures.

So, what does all of this mean? Sarah Gray, assistant vice president of Information Services at EAMC, says it means the teamwork present in our organization is among the best in the nation. “Many times over the past two years, I doubted that meeting Meaningful Use Stage 2 was even possible. But I watched our teams work together to accomplish a miracle. Everyone from leadership to physicians to clinical employees to IT wizards to educators took the goal personally, and went above and beyond to do their part.” Gray says our culture is not just to finish the race. “Excellence is a core value of our organization. Across the board, our employees always strive for the best and this is a great example of teamwork and determination. I couldn’t be more proud of them and I’m proud to say I’m an EAMC employee.” The EHR adoption initiative for Stage 2 included bedside bar-coding, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), enhanced medication reconciliation, patient portal, device selection and quality measures.

What is Meaningful Use?
Not everyone has been exposed to the Meaningful Use Stage 2 project, so here’s a brief explanation from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): Using certified electronic health records (EHR) technology to (1.) Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities; (2.) Engage patients and families in their health care; (3.) Improve care coordination; (4.) Improve population and public health; and (5.) Continue to maintain privacy and security.


7T Recognized with Excellence through Insight Award (August 2014)

For the second year in a row, HealthStream, Inc. has awarded an EAMC department with an Excellence Through Insight award. The 7T nursing unit—Med/Surg—was recognized by Healthstream for having the highest percentage of top-box (best possible) feedback from their patients on Overall Rating. Of the 1000 medical units in the Healthstream database in 2013, 7T had the highest Overall Rating feedback.

7T Recognized with Excellence through Insight Award

Last year, the Opelika office of RehabWorks was recognized by Healthstream for Overall Patient Satisfaction in Outpatient Rehabilitation. RehabWorks had the highest ratings in patient satisfaction from among Healthstream’s 250 outpatient rehab clients. To qualify for the 2014 awards, a hospital must have been a patient satisfaction-tracking client of HealthStream in 2013, scored in the 75th percentile or higher, and surveyed a minimum of 100 patients. EAMC was chosen for receiving the highest ratings in patient experience from among HealthStream’s clients, as well as for exceeding industry standards. “This recognition is well deserved by the compassionate and professional staff on 7T, but it did come as a complete surprise,” says Melody Denam, unit manager. We have a GREAT staff of nurses, MCTs, unit clerks, care coordinators and physicians on 7T, and they all strive to make every patient’s experience a positive and safe one.” The award will be officially presented at a banquet at the Healthstream Leading Innovation in Patient Experience conference in New Orleans in September.


Coins4Care Kick-Off

Coins4Care Kick-Off (July 2014)

With snow cones, popcorn and games, what more could you want at the Coins4Care kickoff event? How about Aubie, McGruff the crime dog, prizes, face painting and cheerleaders? That’s right, the Family Fun Day celebration that marked the start of Coins4Care had it all! (Click here to watch the video)

Coins4Care is a new campaign for children through EAMC’s Cornerstone employee assistance program. The motto of the program is Kids Helping Kids, and every year, Coins4Care will identify a need and fundraise to reach a goal. This year’s goal is to help two young ladies get the wheelchair accessible vans they need: Abbie Jackson-Thomas, granddaughter of Cathy Blumenthal (Education), and Danielle Tadych, daughter of Hope Tadych (Transcription). Children were given piggy banks at the kickoff to collect coins over the next few months (July-November). If your child would like a piggy bank to collect money for Coins4Care, please contact Lisa Ruffin at 528-1181.


Andrus Awarded Gold Medal of Excellence by AlaHA
Terry Andrus (left) is shown here receiving the Gold Medal of Excellence from Bryan Kindred, past AlaHA chairman and CEO of DCH Health System.

Andrus Awarded Gold Medal of Excellence by AlaHA (July 2014)

Terry Andrus was presented the Gold Medal of Excellence by the Alabama Hospital Association (AlaHA) at its annual meeting last month. The award is the highest honor given to a health care executive in recognition of outstanding leadership and contributions to hospitals, both locally and statewide.

“Terry is more than deserving of this award,” said J. Michael Horsley, president of AlaHA. “He is an exemplary hospital CEO and a dedicated association leader. He has always been willing to serve in any capacity, including being on our board, chairing various committees and recently serving as chairman of the board for two consecutive terms.” The resolution presented to Andrus noted the tremendous respect of his peers for his vision and his collaborative spirit, as well as his practical and inclusive leadership style. It also highlighted his significant accomplishments at EAMC, including the hospital’s numerous recognitions in quality and patient safety. Andrus has served on the State Committee of Public Health and on the boards of BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama and Premier, Inc. He is a past recipient of the American College of Healthcare Executives’ Regent’s Award, SunHealth’s Service to Alliance Award and the 2009 AlaHA Grassroots Champion Award.


RehabWorks Leads Camp Mountain Top (July 2014)

The 7th annual Camp Mountain Top was held June 24-27 at Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn. Camp Mountain Top is a day camp for children with physical disabilities and was co-directed this year by Kelly Shaw, PT and Hattie Lett, PT, both of RehabWorks in Opelika. Eighteen (18) children attended the free camp and were able to play games, participate in arts and crafts and Bible study, and enjoy the fellowship with other campers and volunteers. The highlight of the week was a trip to Storybook Farm where the children were accompanied by their families for a picnic and games.


EAMC Named on 100 Great Community Hospitals List

EAMC Named on “100 Great Community Hospitals” List (July 2014)

Becker’s Hospital Review has named its 2014 edition of “100 Great Community Hospitals,” a list based on community hospitals’ accolades, quality and service to their communities, and EAMC made the cut. In fact, we were the only hospital in Alabama to be recognized.

Here’s what the publication said about us: East Alabama Medical Center (Opelika, Ala.). East Alabama Medical Center grew from an 81-bed hospital in 1950 to today’s 334-bed hospital. It was named a Healthstrong Top Hospital in 2014 by iVantage Health Analytics as well as a Top Performer in Premier healthcare alliance’s QUEST: High Performing Hospitals collaborative for the second year in a row. In fiscal year 2013, EAMC had 294 volunteers, 2,700 employees and saw 13,595 inpatient visits.

According to the report, the hospitals chosen for the list have fewer than 550 beds and minimal teaching programs. It also states that “Some are located in suburban areas, but many are found in rural areas and serve as the only hospitals in their communities. Whether independent or part of a larger health system, the following hospitals have continually worked to provide the quality of care and the experience patients deserve and expect.

“This is a nice accolade for our hospital from a very respected publication,” says Terry Andrus, CEO and president. “When awards and recognitions like this are announced, people will often congratulate me. However, it’s our employees, physicians and volunteers who make EAMC what it is. Across the board, our folks strive for the best and are always raising the bar on behalf of our patients. Of course, living in a great community like we do makes it a lot easier to be a great community hospital.” The 100 Great Community Hospitals list is compiled through a lengthy research and review process. The editorial team starts a master list of facilities based on national rankings or original research. The 100 Great Community Hospitals list is compiled without a nomination process and highlights institutions that are consistently lauded by other industry ranking companies.


EAMC Wins ASCEND Peak Performance Award

EAMC Wins ASCEND Peak Performance Award (July 2014)

Premier held its annual Breakthroughs conference in San Antonio last month. During the awards ceremony, EAMC was 1 of only 4 hospitals (out of 475) to be recognized with an ASCEND Peak Performance Award. The award is based on multiple criteria that encompass all aspects of the ASCEND (Accelerated Supply Chain Endeavor) program. Here are the four measures used to determine the award across the membership:

  • ASCEND savings identified and implemented per acute bed
  • Submission of SupplyFocus data to trend performance
  • Knowledge sharing across the ASCEND membership (presenting an education program, posting on the PremierConnect community, etc.)
  • Number of auto opt outs in the program
Here are the key points about EAMC that were announced with the award:
  • This member has been part of the ASCEND program since November 2008 – the first member to officially sign up for the original ASCEND program.
  • During this time, they have documented over $2.1 million in identified savings opportunity and been able to implement almost $1.9 million of that savings (88%).
  • They have been a collaborative partner with the program that has been willing to knowledge share with other ASCEND members via the ASCEND Education Programs.
  • This team has a current participation rate in excess of 65% for PPI agreements.
  • This team has managed to maintain a level of 0 Auto Opt Outs.

“I’m very proud of our employees for their participation in the ASCEND program,” says Bruce Zartman, assistant vice president of Supply Chain and Perioperative Services. “Their willingness to trial new products and give candid feedback is what has made us successful. This recognition is well deserved by all of our employees!”


Healthgrades Recognizes EAMC

Healthgrades Recognizes EAMC (June 2014)

Orthopedic surgery at EAMC is in the top 10 percent in the nation as measured by lowest risk-adjusted complications, according to a report from Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals. The report, American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, evaluates hospital performance at more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 31 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions from 2010 through 2012. The report highlights the disparity in hospital performance for specific conditions and procedures and the impact that this variation may have on health outcomes. For example, from 2010-2012, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to hospitals receiving 5-stars as a group, on average 234,252 lives could potentially have been saved and 157,418 complications could potentially have been avoided. A 5-star rating indicates that EAMC’s clinical outcomes are better than expected when treating the condition or conducting the procedure being evaluated.

Below is a complete list of all Healthgrades recognitions and awards received by EAMC:

  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ for 3 Years in a Row (2012-2014)
  • Only hospital in Alabama to be ranked among the Top 5% in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience for 3 Years in a Row (2012-2014)
  • One of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™ for 3 Years in a Row (2012-2014)
  • Only hospital in Alabama to receive the Healthgrades Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ for 7 Years in a Row (2008-2014)
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Spine Surgery Excellence Award™ for 2 Years in a Row (2013-2014)
  • Only hospital in Alabama ranked among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedic Services for 7 Years in a Row (2008-2014)
  • Ranked among the Top 10% in the Nation for Spine Surgery for 2 Years in a Row (2013-2014)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Hip Fracture Treatment for 7 Years in a Row (2008-2014)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Spinal Fusion Surgery for 5 Years in a Row (2010-2014)
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Stroke Care Excellence Award in 2014
  • Ranked among the Top 10% in the Nation for Treatment of Stroke in 2014
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke in 2014
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in 2014
  • Five-Star Recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass in 2014

Terry Andrus (CEO) says receiving this kind of recognition from a reputable company like Healthgrades speaks volumes. “It highlights the dedication and commitment of our physicians and employees to provide our patients with the highest quality of care. To be ranked so highly year after year shows that our physicians and staff work together on a daily basis to ensure that our patients come first. It is who we are as an organization.”


ICU and CVICU Earn Excellence Award (May 2014)

During Nurses Week (May 6-12), the ICU and CVICU departments were each recognized for their achievements in quality efforts. Specifically, they have had the least amount of core measures misses. CVICU has gone almost 3 ½ years without a CLABSI (central line associated blood stream infection) and ICU has had a 80 percent reduction in CAUTIs (catheter associated urinary tract infections) when compared to FY13.

ICU and CVICU are also to be commended for their tremendous work with the DENALI Project. Elements of this project include decreasing the amount of sedation that patients are on while on a ventilator, increasing mobilization such as walking while being ventilated to maintain core strength, and having a multidisciplinary team involved in the patient daily care.

ICU and CVICU Earn Excellence Award

Register Selected for Daisy Award (January 2014)

Denise Register, RN (7T) was honored earlier this week with a DAISY Award. Given quarterly, the DAISY Award recognizes “the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day,” according to the DAISY Foundation website (daisyfoundation.org). EAMC is one of more than 1,500 hospitals in the U.S. who partners with the DAISY Foundation to honor nurses. Denise, who has been with EAMC since 1984, was nominated by several people.

Register Selected for Daisy Award
Denise Register (behind the word DAISY) is shown here with family members after being named the latest DAISY Award winner.

Here’s a sample of their accolades on Denise:

“I have always admired Denise. She is very compassionate and patient-oriented. She aims at doing things the right way the first time, every time. I have not met a physician who did not trust her judgment or expertise with their patient’s care. Denise has always shown great knowledge and skills from basic to critical care, and shares that with all nurses. She is someone I have looked up to and respected.”

“I have seen her faith in God shared with patients, families, physicians, and co-workers in all aspects...her strength is amazing.”

“She is the poster girl for ‘Good Quality Safe Effective Patient Care.’ I have had the privilege of working with Denise since 1996 and have found her to be a very dedicated employee. Her work ethics go above and beyond caring about her co-workers and her patients.”

“Denise is always willing to take the time to help her coworkers with resolving any problems that may come about during her working hours. I can’t think of a better person and nurse who deserves this award.”


My EAMC Patient Portal Goes Live

My EAMC Patient Portal Goes Live (January 2014)

The EAMC Patient Portal went live on Monday, January 20th. Known as My EAMC, the patient portal will give patients a firsthand look at portions of their EAMC medical record. Any EAMC patient who provides us with their personal email address will be sent an invitation to join the portal.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the EAMC Patient Portal:

How do I sign up for My EAMC?
You can enroll in My EAMC while visiting EAMC for an appointment. Speak with a member of your care team to start the enrollment process. A patient portal information form prints in registration and admission packets starting on Jan.20. Any person who has been an EAMC patient since 2005 (since Cerner Millennium went live) may access their medical record through My EAMC. Simply visit www.eamc.org and click on the My EAMC patient portal link. It will provide information and a form for joining the portal.

What if I didn’t receive my invitation email?
Please check your spam or junk mail folders in your email account. If you still can’t find it, please call the Medical Records department at 334-528-2261 and ask them to verify your email address and resend the invitation.

Can I enroll my spouse, child or another family member in My EAMC?
Yes; however, we are not currently enrolling anyone under the age of 19. If you are a care provider for another adult, you may be given access to that person’s account.

Can I ask questions regarding a family member from My EAMC account?
No. Your My EAMC account is specific to your health care and is tied only to your medical record. However, family members do have the option of allowing another adult to have access to their My EAMC account.

Who will have access to my medical information in My EAMC?
The information in My EAMC is the same information in your electronic medical record maintained by EAMC. Only your physician or other professional care staff at EAMC has access to that medical record. You have the option of allowing another adult to have access to your My EAMC account.

Can I make online appointments, fill prescriptions, or communicate with my physician through My EAMC?
Not right now. However, these may become options in the future.

What lab results will be viewable in My EAMC and when will they be available?
Most common lab test results will be viewable in My EAMC. Some sensitive results are not currently available in My EAMC. These include but are not limited to STD screenings, HIV, pathology, radiology, microbiology, some cancer markers, drugs of abuse, alcohol and pregnancy-related results. Lab results will be delivered into My EAMC 36 hours after results are entered into your electronic medical record.

What if I have questions about the portal?
For general questions, visit the patient portal link on www.eamc.org. For technical questions, call the My EAMC support line at (877) 621-8014, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For specific questions regarding portal content, call 528-2950.


RehabWorks Receives HealthStream Recognition

RehabWorks Receives HealthStream Recognition (January 2014)

RehabWorks-Opelika is recognized with an Excellence through Insight award for “Overall Patient Satisfaction” in Outpatient Rehabilitation by HealthStream, Inc. They were awarded this honor for their commitment to excellence in patient care, receiving the highest ratings in patient satisfaction from among HealthStreams’s 250 outpatient rehab clients, as well as for exceeding industry standards. To qualify for an award, facilities must have been a patient satisfaction-tracking client of HealthStream in 2012, scored in the 75th percentile or higher, and surveyed a minimum of 100 patients. HealthStream CEO Robert A. Frist, Jr., said, “We applaud RehabWorks’ high-level commitment to excellence in health care, and we are pleased to recognize their achievement through our presentation of an Excellence through Insight award.”


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