Hospital wins national awards

Yampa Valley Medical Center pulls off three-peat

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Yampa Valley Medical Center has received two national awards for health care service quality.

Avatar International Inc., which conducts patient satisfactory surveys for 250 hospitals nationwide, gave the Steamboat Springs hospital awards for exceeding patient expectations and exemplary service -- overall best performer.

Avatar based the awards on results of the hospital's 2004 patient surveys.

"This is the third year in a row that Yampa Valley Medical Center has placed in the top five percent nationally among hospitals of all sizes that use this system to measure customer satisfaction," YVMC Chief Executive Officer Karl Gills said. "Our staff and physicians are to be congratulated for their efforts in achieving this recognition."

YVMC has been using the Avatar system to monitor and improve patient satisfaction for the past four years, Quality Services Director Judy Zuccone said.

"Understanding the expectations of patients is what drives continuous improvement at Yampa Valley Medical Center," Zuccone said. "The definition of exemplary customer service is consistently meeting and exceeding our patients' expectations. Patients are demanding higher standards of care, and this type of feedback is very valuable to us as we continuously improve service quality."

Gills said YVMC is also part of a regional group of not-for-profit hospitals from Colorado and seven other western states participating in a quality service improvement initiative. The collaborative effort involves sharing data and ideas to continuously improve the quality of service provided by hospitals to their communities.

"YVMC's team of employees and physicians strives to always be alert to ways we can improve the service and patient care provided," Gills said. "This type of recognition reinforces the value of the continuous quality-improvement process."

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