Thanks to the intentional efforts of everyone at NMC, patient satisfaction with the care provided at NMC has earned 4 stars within the Hospital Compare system! This is a testament to the quality of care provided by our nurses, our entire staff, our medical staff, and our volunteers. I am so proud of the work each member of the hospital family does every day for every patient.
As a nurse myself, I was particularly pleased to see that 84% of the time, our patients report that our nurses “always” communicated well. That is above the state average and the national average! The NMC team was also above the state and national average in ensuring that patients “always” received help as soon as they wanted. We were above the Vermont average but below the national average on our environment “always” being quiet at night and now that our new private rooms are in service on the Progressive Care Unit (PCU), we believe patient satisfaction with our quiet environment will increase significantly! To me, a real test of our patient care is whether our patients would recommend NMC to others. 80% of our patients said they “definitely” would recommend NMC, significantly above the Vermont average of 73% and the national average of 72%. I am happy to have this chance to publicly thank our nurses, staff, volunteers, and medical staff for living our mission and providing exceptional care. Hats off to this team for this hard work, specifically over the past 18 months.
At the same time, we have made a concerted effort for many months to gather staff feedback to help NMC continue to be a great place to work. One of our biggest challenges has been filling our open jobs during a national nursing shortage and a tight labor market in Vermont. To help recruitment and to recognize staff who are ambassadors for NMC, we added a $3000 recruitment bonus (payable in three payments) for any staff who helped recruit an RN who stayed at least two years. We also supplemented our generous tuition reimbursement benefit with an educational loan repayment benefit of up to $12,500 over five years for both current and new staff in ‘hard to recruit’ positions such as RNs, PTs, OTs, Med Techs, etc. For many months we have discussed the need to increase our nursing presence on days in the PCU, and we recently committed to a goal of having at least one nurse for every four patients in the PCU during the day shift. With our up and down census, our staff have been flexing up and flexing down to meet the ever changing patient needs. Because of these swings in census we have capped the amount of time staff will be asked to go home because census is lower.
During our 2016 strategic planning process, our staff embraced a vision that speaks of earning “national recognition for excellence in quality and value” and being “a destination of choice for patients, staff, and medical staff.” These enhancements come with a lot of work and change. It is without a doubt that our efforts have improved our reliability in the patient experience to which this entire team is devoted to achieving … one vision, one mission … together.
— Jill Berry Bowen, RN, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer