Karmanos: In a league of its own

Karen Goldman

By Karen Goldman, RN, MSN, AOCN, chief nursing officer and vice president, Patient Services at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center.

We’ve recently received very exciting news at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, something that affirms our goal of providing the very best in cancer care. Our center is among 339 hospitals nationwide, and the only hospital in metropolitanDetroit, to receive HealthGrades’ 2011 Outstanding Patient Experience Award.

The award recognizes hospitals that are rated in the top 10 percent of patient satisfaction surveys based on patients’ experiences in each hospital.

There are many people at Karmanos who help assure that our patients have the very best experience, but it’s our compassionate and very qualified nursing staff that is attentive to our patients’ needs, as well as their families, around the clock.

I have worked in midtown Detroit my entire health care career, having received my nursing diploma at Harper Hospital’s School of Nursing; a bachelor of science in Nursing and a master of science in Nursing at Wayne State University. There was a time when cancer care wasn’t a separate specialty, when nurses mixed chemotherapy treatments in the unit’s medication room and patients were placed on any floor with an empty bed.

As I’ve worked towards my current role as chief nursing officer and vice president of Patient Services at Karmanos, I have seen a tremendous progression of care and services for our cancer patients.

I can attest to the fact that all our nurses are trained professionals and are the best at what they do. They treat each patient as if they were a member of their own family. Our nurses have phenomenal passion and dedication and I believe that’s part of what makes Karmanos a very special place.

HealthGrades’ honor brings evidence to that belief. In determining the nation’s very best hospitals when it comes to patient experience, HealthGrades looked at Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) hospital survey data obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Survey data came from a random sample of discharged patients from almost 3,800 hospitals in the country and was taken from April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010.

Patients were asked about how they would rate the hospital overall; family and friend recommendations; communication with doctors and nurses; responsiveness of hospital staff; pain management and communication related to medicines; discharge information; and cleanliness and quietness of the facility. Hospitals with rankings in the top 10 percent of all hospitals considered were designated as the 2011 Outstanding Patient Experience award recipients.

To us, survey questions like those are very important.  We established a Patient and Family Advisory Council at Karmanos over 12 years ago to ensure we had a consumer approach to our care delivery and services. A high-quality patient experience means everything to us.

Other organizations have also echoed the special distinction that we’ve received from HealthGrades. We’ve been ranked most preferred hospital for cancer care in southeast Michigan for four consecutive years, according to the National Research Corporation, and we recently received an Award of Excellence from Health Care Weekly Review in the category of specialty hospital.

To us, honors and awards for top quality care and outstanding patient experience are wonderful. But when a special distinction is the result of direct patient feedback, it makes the award all the better!

For information on cancer services at Karmanos, call 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266) or go to www.karmanos.org.



1 Response to “Karmanos: In a league of its own”

  1. 1 Ronnie Newton September 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    It is heartening to see good people in our health care industry doing phenomenal work and being duly rewarded. Kudos to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center.

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