Mizell ranked in top one percent in nation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Mizell Memorial Hospital employees consider patient satisfaction among the most important aspects of their jobs.

That level of commitment is evident through recent notification of Mizell's ranking highest in Alabama this quarter and in the top 1-percent nationally in patient satisfaction scores in every consecutive reporting period for the past four years, according to Press Ganey Associates, the leading measurement firm in the health care field.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment," said Press Ganey CEO Melvin F. Hall, Ph.D.

This "performance is a reflection of total commitment and dedication to providing the very best in quality health care. By focusing on quality interactions and patient-centered service right along with positive clinical outcomes, Mizell Memorial Hospital continues to be one of the best health care organizations in America."

Achieving this milestone is due to the simple act of listening to patients, said Debbie Franklin, hospital co-director of nursing and quality coordinator.

"We realized we should be asking our most important customers - our patients - what we were doing right and what we needed to improve," she said.

In order to learn how to better meet the needs and expectations of patients, Franklin said a patient satisfaction survey process was implemented several years ago.

"The most important element about these patient satisfaction scores is that it validates what we are trying to do every day. It's a concrete measurement of what our employees do to make the patient's hospital stay less threatening and a better experience," she said.

Allen Foster, Mizell CEO, said the long-term high scores directly reflect patients' perceptions of care.

"It's the way we treat our patients, the way we show our concern for their comfort, respect and dignity that show in these scores," he said.

Since 1985, Press Ganey Associates has served hospitals throughout the nation and now has 5,900 client facilities and more than seven million completed surveys annually.

"There were right at 517,000 patients across the nation surveyed in this particular quarter," said Franklin. "The report gives us information by state as well as nationally. We are compared to a database of similar-sized hospitals, as well as hospitals of all sizes and types - profit, nonprofit, research and other types of hospital facilities."

By using survey results to steer the direction of employee behavior to better meet the expectations of patients, Mizell enjoys an uncommon position in the state.

"Not only did we achieve the fourth consecutive year in the top 1 percent in the nation, we also scored higher than any other hospital in Alabama this quarter," said Franklin.

"To say we're proud of our team is a great understatement," said Foster.

"This continuity of high scores speaks volumes for the quality of employees we have at Mizell. More importantly, it speaks of their character, their compassion and their attitude toward the culture we've worked so hard to build."