EAMC Quality

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."

Cardiac Rehab Program Earns Recertification

Cardiac Rehab Program Earns Recertification (October 2013)
The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Certification Committee has awarded EAMC’s Cardiac Rehab Program a recertification for the next three years.

EAMC tabbed as Healthstrong Hospital

EAMC tabbed as "Healthstrong" Hospital (July 2013)
The Hospital Strength Index, a national rating and analytics program developed by iVantage Health Analytics, ranks over four thousand U.S acute care hospitals based on eight performance pillars comprised of 56 difference performance measures. EAMC has been named one of the nation’s top 100 strongest hospitals. A Healthstrong top 100 hospital represents the nation’s strongest institutions for performance under the New Healthcare and sets benchmarks for optimal population demand, operational and clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and financial performance.

Certificate for Excellence in Newborn Hearing Screening

EAMC nursery staff earns Certificate for Excellence in Newborn Hearing Screening from the Alabama Department of Public Health (April 2013)
The certificate, which is signed by State Health Officer Donald Williamson, M.D., reads: "In recognition of its valuable contributions to the goal of improving the health of newborns in Alabama by exceeding benchmark quality indicators for Alabama's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, thus facilitating early identification of follow-up with hearing loss."

EAMC Echo Lab Accredited by the ICAEL

EAMC Echo Lab Accredited by the ICAEL (March 2013)
EAMC’s Echo Lab has earned a 3-year term of re-accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). The accreditation in Echocardiography is in the area of Adult Transthoracic. A press release issued by the IAC stated that "Accreditation by the IAC means that East Alabama Medical Center has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review."

EAMC Recognized for Excellence

EAMC Recognized for Excellence…again! (April 2013)
EAMC is among the best in the nation at providing safe, reliable and efficient care, according to Premier, America’s largest healthcare performance improvement alliance. This marks the second year in a row that EAMC has been named a top performer in the Premier healthcare alliance’s QUEST: High Performing Hospitals® collaborative.

In order to be named a top performer, EAMC achieved high marks in the following four domains:

  1. Reducing the average cost of care to less than $5,690 per discharge
  2. Reliably delivering all evidence-based care measures to patients in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care at least 95 percent of the time
  3. Improving the hospital experience so that patients favorably rate their stay and would recommend the facility to others at least 73 percent of the time
  4. Reducing preventable harm events

Of the 333 hospitals that participated in Year 4 of QUEST, only 48 - including EAMC - were named top performers. “EAMC’s participation in this collaborative reinforces our commitment to reliably deliver the best care experience to the communities we serve,” said Terry Andrus, EAMC president and CEO. “We’re proud to have achieved top performance in QUEST as we continue down our path of improving patient outcomes.”

Premier and QUEST members are achieving impressive results. Data for the first 4.5 years of the collaborative show that participants:

  • Prevented an inpatient death nearly 92,000 times
  • Reduced health care spending by almost $9.1 billion
  • When compared to what is expected, QUEST hospitals observed mortality is 10 percent lower than national averages
  • Nationally, costs of inpatient care have increased by about 28 percent, versus 11 percent for QUEST hospitals
Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit Receives Quality Recognitions

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit Receives Quality Recognitions (September 2012)
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence to East Alabama Medical Center’s cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). The Beacon Award — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six standards for a healthy work environment.

Units that achieve this three-year designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award. The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the CVICU signifies continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. The CVICU earned its silver award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development, Best Practices
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Patient Outcomes

Also, the CVICU also recently celebrated two years of involvement in a CUSP project centered on eliminating hospital-acquired infections. In particular, their aim was to eliminate CLABSIs (central line-associated blood stream infections). “We changed the procedure for central line insertion, ramped up education and monitoring of care and maintenance on these lines, and implemented daily evaluation of line necessity with the goal of quick removal once the line was deemed unnecessary,” states Kate Ruud, unit manager. “Nursing did not do this alone; it was a joint effort between the physicians, nursing staff, CV clinicians and infection control specialists,” Kate says. “Our last central line infection was in December 2010. This marks a huge milestone in our attack on hospital acquired infections.” Kate said their new goal is to “maintain the success that we have had with eliminating CLABSIs and also begin work on eliminating CAUTIs (catheter-associated urinary tract infections).”

EAMC a Top Performer, says The Joint Commission

EAMC a Top Performer, says The Joint Commission (September 2012)
The Joint Commission (TJC) named EAMC as one of the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures. EAMC was recognized for exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions.

EAMC is one of only 620 hospitals (top 18 percent) in the U.S. earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance. Specifically, EAMC was recognized for its achievement on the following measure sets: 1) heart attack; 2) heart failure; 3) pneumonia; and 4) surgical care.

“What matters most to our patients is safe, effective care,” Terry Andrus (president and CEO) states. “That’s why we have a commitment to accreditation and to positive patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes. I am extremely proud of our employees and physicians for earning this well-deserved recognition.”

Each of the hospitals named as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures met two 95 percent (95/95) performance thresholds on 2011 accountability measure data. TJC defines accountability measures as “quality measures that meet four criteria that produce the greatest positive impact on patient outcomes when hospitals demonstrate improvement on them.” A 95 percent score means a hospital provided an evidence-based practice 95 times out of 100 opportunities to provide the practice. Each accountability measure represents an evidence-based practice – for example, giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients or giving antibiotics one hour before surgery. EAMC’s overall score on the core measures in 2011 was 99.5 percent and is currently at 99.7 percent.

EAMC Demonstrates Success in Treating Sepsis, Presents Case Study in D.C.

EAMC Demonstrates Success in Treating Sepsis, Presents Case Study in D.C. (January 2012)
EAMC was one of only three QUEST-collaborative hospitals asked to present case studies t to help Premier publicize the success of the program. The other two hospital systems were McLeod Health Regional Medical Center in Florence, SC, and Inova Health of Fairfax, VA.

EAMC President and CEO Terry Andrus presented EAMC’s case study at a press conference and congressional update in Washington, D.C., on January 18, 2012. During the press conference, Andrus was able to state that “36 lives were saved because we took this sepsis initiative and put in this bundle. That is, 36 people that probably would otherwise have died did not die.”

Overall, Premier says that nationwide, 157 member hospitals participated and saved 24,820 lives under the QUEST program.

Andrus was joined in D.C. by Laura Bell, assistant vice president of Quality Management and Steve Hubbard, M.D. Dr. Hubbard says participating in QUEST was an eye-opening experience. “Even though we had read the articles (on clinical trials), it didn’t really occur to us how important it was to get the antibiotics in within an hour or two, and we didn’t understand that it was important to give enough IV fluids that certain blood levels would change or other measurements would change.”

Hubbard adds, “The QUEST project put us in touch with other hospitals who had successfully given a lot of IV fluids toward a targeted goal, and when we started doing that, that’s when we saw our mortality rate come down.” Following the trip, Bell took time to think about what impact the three-year initiative had on our hospital. “When you reflect on EAMC’s performance in QUEST, we have truly met our vision statement — to be a national leader in quality, cost and service.”

EAMC Named a “Top Hospital for Patient Experience” by WomenCertified®

In a full-page ad in USA Today on September 23, 2011, WomenCertified® named its “Top Hospitals for Patient Experience,” and East Alabama Medical Center was 1 of only 5 Alabama hospitals recognized. WomenCertified®, the voice of female consumers, says their “scoring process is unique in that it is the only national list that focuses on female patient satisfaction.” WomanCertified® states that their scoring process begins with scores derived for each hospital in the “Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems” (HCAHPS) database. “The score takes a subset of the questions HCAHPS uses that our research and experience shows are more important to women than to men. The scoring is totally objective and uniform.”

Here are 5 areas that WomenCertified® says are more important to women than men:

Cleanliness - Cleanliness embodies everything from the appearance of your facilities right through to the patient room bathrooms, from clean and pressed lab coats to the cleanliness of your cafeteria.

Communications with Nurses – Women place a higher value on building and maintaining relationships, and nurses can either foster or hinder that relationship with the hospital. Communications, both non-verbal and verbal, have a significant impact on how a woman perceives her experience with the hospital.

Communications with Doctors – Bedside manner and ability to be perceived as competent and compassionate strongly impact the patient experience. Women appreciate more talk time and more eye contact.

Response to Help Requests – All patients appreciate fast response. For a female though, it goes beyond response time as the tone and attitude during that process impact her perception of the experience.

Willingness to Recommend - Women are twice as likely to refer a business than a man. She is even more cautious in making referrals as she places more emphasis on protecting her relationships.

Blue Distinction Center® for Hip and Knee Replacement

The simple truth is that not all hospitals are the same. To be named as a Blue Distinction Center® for Hip and Knee Replacement, East Alabama Medical Center had to demonstrate that the things that matter most to you are the same things in which EAMC’s medical and clinical staff excels – quality care, treatment expertise, and patient results. Blue Distinction Centers deliver better overall outcomes, which makes EAMC a smart choice.

American College of Radiology (ACR)

Five of EAMC’s six advanced imaging modalities were each awarded a three-year term of accreditation following a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. “Going through the accreditation process has proven to be beneficial for our imaging services,” states Melinda Johnson, Radiology director. “The steps taken to achieve accreditation revealed opportunities for improvement in our QA program. Achieving accreditation status is affirmation that our patients are receiving the gold standard of care.” The five modalities receiving accreditation are CT, MRI, PET, mammography and nuclear medicine.

College of American Pathologists

Main Laboratory Accredited by the College of American Pathologists (March 2011)
The main laboratory at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP). East Alabama Medical Center’s main laboratory is one of more than 7,000 CAP-accredited laboratories worldwide. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, which began in the early 1960s, is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program. This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients.

Medical Fitness Association

HealthPlus Fitness Center Certified by the Medical Fitness Association (December 2010)
HealthPlus Fitness Center is certified as a medical fitness facility by the Medical Fitness Association (MFA), the country's leading organization dedicated solely to medically integrated fitness facilities. This certification is a significant step forward in the health of the entire community. HealthPlus is the first facility in the state of Alabama to receive the certification. MFA Facility Certification ensures that HealthPlus has the medical expertise and programs needed to help all people start and maintain a safe and effective fitness program. The Medical Fitness Association (MFA) is the only organization dedicated to the medical fitness difference and integrated care as the prescription for better health. MFA serves facilities and professionals who are committed to promoting the benefits of health and fitness programs on lifestyle-related disease and making medical fitness programs and services available within their community.

Alabama Quality Award Team Showcase Award

2010 Alabama Quality Award Team Showcase Award - Cancer Center of East Alabama (November 2010)
The EAMC Cancer Center Project Team was selected as a gold level recipient in the health care category for the 2010 Alabama Quality Award Team Showcase for utilizing a systematic team approach to improvement. This team’s commitment to quality is another example of EAMC’s commitment to continuous improvement. The project team spent more than a year in the Cancer Center analyzing data, evaluating processes and workflow. The ultimate goal of the project was to optimize the Cancer Center’s current capacity and improve overall efficiency.

The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Inpatient Diabetes Care (September 2010)
While East Alabama Medical Center is a fully accredited facility in Hospital and Laboratory programs under The Joint Commission (TJC), and has been continuously accredited since 1959, in September 2010, EAMC earned the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for health care quality. With the successful Diabetes Disease-Specific Care survey, EAMC became the 1st program in Alabama—and one of less than 25 in the country—to be certified in Advanced Inpatient Diabetes. The Joint Commission launched its Disease-Specific Care Certification program in 2002. It is the first program of its kind in the country to certify disease management programs. A list of programs certified by the Joint Commission is available at www.jointcommission.org.

Best Companies to Work For in Alabama

One of the Best Companies to Work For in Alabama (July 2010)
EAMC ranked 5th in Business Alabama’s first-ever listing of the “Best Companies to Work For.” The list was divided into three categories: small employer (15-49 employees), medium employer (50-249 employees) and large employer (250 and more). With more than 2,400 employees, EAMC was ranked in the large employer category. EAMC was the only hospital selected for the recognition.

Best in Class

Best in Class© Seal for Employee Satisfaction (March 2010)
East Alabama Medical Center was awarded a Best-in-Class© Seal by HR Solutions International, Inc. for having employee satisfaction survey scores that were within the top 10 percent of their normative database. HR Solutions said that organizations were selected based on their Engagement and Overall Job Satisfaction levels. More specifically, EAMC was recognized for having the “Third Most Improved Overall Job Satisfaction” since the last survey. Information on the other winners can be found at the HR Solutions website (www.hrsolutionsinc.com).

Hospital Value Index

2009-2010 Hospital Value IndexTM Best in ValueTM Award (January 2010)
Data Advantage, LLC, the nation’s leader in measuring healthcare value, recognized East Alabama Medical Center with a 2009-2010 Hospital Value IndexTM: Best in ValueTM Award. Specifically, EAMC was honored among other Alabama hospitals with a Best in StateTM Award. EAMC ranked in the top 10 percent of all hospitals nationwide, achieving high marks in quality, affordability and efficiency, and patient satisfaction. Of the 3,000 hospitals in the study, EAMC placed in the 93rd percentile. The Hospital Value IndexTM is the first and only performance indicator to focus on the value hospitals provide to their community and utilizes the latest publicly available data, including Hospital Compare from July 2009, to recognize these accomplishments. The Hospital Value IndexTM pulled data from approximately 4,500 general acute-care hospitals, serving 30.1 million consumers. It defines a hospital’s “value” by its success in four critical areas:

  • Quality, including CMS’s Core Measures, patient safety and readmission rates;
  • Efficiency, including the relative measure of the cost to the hospital for providing services
  • Affordability, a relative comparison of prices charged for inpatient and outpatient services; and
  • Patient satisfaction as measured by HCAHPS.

The full Hospital Value IndexTM study and list of findings can be found at www.HospitalValueIndex.com.


EAMC Echo Lab Accredited by the ICAEL (2010)
In 2010, the East Alabama Medical Center Echo Lab received accreditation from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). The ICAEL provides facility accreditation programs for echocardiography. The ICAEL is a member division of the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), which is comprised of six member divisions, each ensuring quality patient care and promoting health care within a specific medical specialty. The purpose of the ICAEL is "to ensure high quality patient care and to promote health care by providing a mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality echocardiographic diagnostic evaluations by a process of voluntary accreditation."


The Cardiac Rehabilitation program at East Alabama Medical Center is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. EAMC’s program was one of the first to be certified in Alabama and has maintained continuous certification since 2000. Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the mission of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management. Central to the core mission is improvement in quality of life for patients and their families.

US News & World Report

EAMC’s Renal services scored high in the state and nation according to a recent study conducted by the US News & World Report. (December 2009)
The study, which is conducted annually, ranks hospitals in 16 specialties, and hospitals had to show a minimum number of Medicare inpatient discharges for certain procedures and conditions in 2005 - 2007. The hospitals received a U.S. News score from 0 to 100, based on reputation, death rate, patient safety, and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. Among all Alabama hospitals, EAMC’s Renal floor had the 2nd best mortality rate behind the state leader, UAB Medical Center, which was the 13th highest rated hospital for renal services in the nation. EAMC’s renal services are comprised of a 6-bed Dialysis unit and a 16-bed Renal unit.