For the eighth straight year Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula has achieved the Healthgrades 2021 Outstanding Patient Experience Award.

KGVO News spoke to James McKay, Chief Physician Executive for Providence Montana, who explained the significance of the award.

“This is the eighth year in a row that we've won this award, and that puts us in the top 5% of hospitals in the country,” said McKay. “This reflects patients’ experience when they come to the hospital. They evaluate over 3,300 hospitals and 417 hospitals got the award this year and we were one of those, and again for the eighth year in a row.”

McKay remarked that St. Patrick Hospital was able to earn that achievement despite going through the COVID 19 pandemic.

“It really was a difficult year,” he said. “It was difficult for patients obviously, because when they were in the hospital we had to restrict the number of loved ones who could come in, and sometimes not at all. It was also extra hard on our caregivers. But I think it just shows that they still stepped up and made that extra effort even under very trying circumstances to take the best possible care of patients they could.”

McKay provided some examples of the extra care offered by the hospital to patients that provided their input.

“The survey has about 29 different questions and it really focuses on the patient's perspective of their care in the hospital,” he said. “There's a really a range of topics, such as hospital staff responsiveness, how clean are the rooms, was their medication and illness explained well to them, among many others.”

McKay said because the hospital has achieved this distinction for the eighth year in a row that excellent care has become a part of the daily culture.

“I think it's just become the culture here,” he said. “It's been embedded over actually generations of caregivers, nurses, doctors, managers, everyone. I think everyone takes ownership of the patients when they're here in the hospital. And, of course we wouldn't get this recognition if the rooms weren't clean, if food wasn't prepared well and delivered on time or if the nurses didn't take the extra time to answer the extra questions.”

Question topics ranged from cleanliness and noise levels in patient rooms to medication explanations, and hospital staff responsiveness to patients’ needs. The measures also include whether a patient would recommend the hospital to friends or family and their overall rating of the hospital.


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