The Petersburg Medical Center received the highest recognition, a Quality Achievement Award. It means the hospital reached a 95 percent performance score for the last two quarters.
Sharon Scudder is the Director of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation Alaska, which evaluates and scores hospitals throughout the state.
“Petersburg pays attention to the patient,” Scudder says. “Petersburg pays attention to providing the best evidenced, clinical care for patients in the hospital.”
Scudder says they looked at in-patient and out-patient care, structural measures, and participation requirements in patient surveys and other national health programs.
“We recognized hospitals for their dedication to ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care,” Scudder says.
Mountain-Pacific evaluates 22 hospitals of all sizes in Alaska. It’s difficult to compare small hospitals like Petersburg’s to other larger facilities because they are so different. For example, Petersburg does not provide operating room services. But Scudder says what the local medical center DOES do, it does very well.
“Overall, Petersburg Medical Center values providing excellent, clinical care for patients in their hospital,” says Scudder, “and that’s a leadership functionality, that’s from leadership, it’s from board, it’s from staff line workers. I mean everyone is committed to quality.”
Liz Woodyard has been the hospital’s CEO for the past three years.
“It was unexpected and a very pleasant surprise,” Woodyard says.
She says it’s the workers attention to details that count.
“We have a really good team, it’s really gelled, it’s come together really well, the doctors and the nurses, the lab, x-ray, every single clinician is really involved in making sure that the patient gets the appropriate care for the appropriate diagnosis,” Woodyard says, “and then we report that data and it goes on the CMS public website.”
Jennifer Bryner agrees. She is the Chief Nursing Officer at Petersburg Medical Center.
“It’s definitely a team work environment and you couldn’t achieve a quality award like this without having everybody doing their part,” Bryner says. “It’s a team of people that are committing, really their lives to taking care of our community. They’re working together to provide this excellent quality of care even though we are a small, rural hospital.”
The two other hospitals receiving the Quality Achievement Award were Wrangell Medical Center and Providence Kodiak Medical Center.
Winners of the Commitment to Quality Award, scoring 90 percent were Bartlett Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center, both in Anchorage, and PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
Mountain-Pacific has been awarding the quality achievement awards for nine years in Alaska.