Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley Medical Center was named the nation's top performer in patient satisfaction in June by a national polling company. The medical center was one of 173 hospitals polled in the nationwide survey.
YVMC ranked highest in patient satisfaction and also won awards for exceeding patient expectations and billing for emergency department services.
The medical center hired Avatar, a national company that facilitates patient satisfaction surveys, to poll its patients. The company mailed surveys to inpatients, lab, radiology, sports medicine and day surgery patients of YVMC.
"The hospital staff are really committed to the needs of the patients," YVMC Chief Executive Officer Karl Gills said.
He explained that YVMC employees are often caring for members of the community that they know; this adds a personal touch.
"In a small town, there is a feeling of community," Gills said. "When patients come to a hospital they are under stress, their families are under stress," he said.
The YVMC staff is conscientious of this, and receptive to patients' needs, he said.
He said that many of the staff members are involved in community organizations and activities outside of the hospital.
Public relations assistant Heather Rose pointed out a variety of features in the hospital's new building, which was completed in 2000, that enhance its patient care.
The Intensive Care Unit is located in close proximity to the nurse's station for quick response. There are sunrooms with mountain views available for family and friends of patients.
The hospital also has state-of-the-art technology, including Computer-Aided Detection. The computer detects breast abnormalities, opposed to radiologists searching for visual abnormalities from a mammogram.
"That's a pretty amazing machine," Rose said. Not many small hospitals have acquired CAD, she said.
In 2001, the medical center won patient satisfaction awards for its emergency department, ambulatory surgery and outpatient services.
This year's Avatar award included information from YVMC patients submitted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2002.
In 2002, the YVMC had 32,537 outpatient visits, 1,584 inpatient admissions, 8,277 emergency visits, and 331 newborns.