Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Repeats Top Honors for Patient Satisfaction

BENNINGTON - Emergency and inpatient services at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) have won top honors for patient satisfaction for the second year in a row. Press Ganey, an independent company that measures quality of care at health care facilities nationwide, awarded SVMC with two 2007 Summit awards on Nov. 27 in a special presentation in Kissimmee, Fla.

To achieve a Summit Award, a hospital service must maintain patient satisfaction scores in the top 5 percent nationwide over at least three consecutive years. SVMC is just one of 38 organizations in the nation to receive this honor in 2007 and one of the very few to be awarded this honor two years in a row.

Press Ganey is a national company that administers patient satisfaction surveys and awards scores at thousands of healthcare facilities in the United States. Emergency and inpatient services at SVMC were compared with hundreds of hospitals of all sizes, from small rural hospitals to large teaching hospitals affiliated with medical colleges. Press Ganey calls the Summit Award their “most prestigious designation,” and “the most challenging to attain. Recipients truly set themselves apart from the competition.”

Southwestern Vermont Health Care CEO Harvey Yorke said, “Receiving two Press Ganey Summit Awards, two years in a row, is truly a testament to our nurses, doctors, clinical, support, and administrative staff. Everyone at SVHC plays an important part in achieving great patient care. These awards come directly from surveys taken by our patients and their families. As a result, we are extremely proud to win them.”

SVMC was the first hospital in Vermont, and the first in Northern New England, to win the award in 2006. The health system has used Press Ganey to measure patient satisfaction since the 1990s, continuously using the feedback to strive for the highest level of patient satisfaction possible.

Higher patient satisfaction is also a promise of a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence. The American Nurses Credentialing Center names Magnet hospitals after a rigorous review of the organization. SVMC was designated a Magnet in 2002 and again in 2006 and is the only Magnet hospital in Vermont and one of only 225 nationwide.

“We don't just take care of illnesses and injuries at SVMC,” stated Yorke. “Every patient has unique needs, and we work hard to provide a healing environment that meets those needs. It's part of our quest to make our community the healthiest in the nation and our hospital the safest.”