Ransom Memorial Health continues to impress organizations with its patient care.
The hospital, 1301 S. Main St., Ottawa, was recently honored as one of 16 medical centers in Kansas for quality maternity care through the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, according to a news release. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas named RMH as a Blue Distinction Center+, which are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community, the release said.
It is the second straight year RMH has been awarded the Blue Distinction Center+ designation.
“It is pretty prestigious,” Dorothy Rice, RMH director of quality care and trauma, said. “It is a recognition for excellent maternity care at Ransom. It has to do with several quality measures and components...cost, how efficient we are in taking care of patients. It even has to do with patient satisfaction. There are several components to it.”
Samantha Fast, director of the RMH Family Birthplace, said the honor shows how the staff is diligent in the care of expectant moms and newborns.
“It is nice to be recognized for the things we do for the good of the patient,” she said. “We do it for the patient and not the recognition.”
Blue Cross officials said there are several reasons why these hospitals are a cut above.
“Today there is much talk about ‘quality’ in health care and the role quality plays in overall outcomes, patient experience and costs,” Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO, said. “These 16 hospitals are doing more than talking about quality. They are putting quality into action by meeting rigorous quality metrics in all phases of their maternity care programs and, in doing so, deliver better care for our members.”
Rice said Blue Cross contacted RMH officials and told them they had the right criteria for this distinction.
“They do the background work to see if we met this...all the components are publicly reported,” Rice said. “We have to in turn do an application. Cost [component] is huge. Cost of maternity care, comparing our claims to other hospitals’ claims. We were more effective and less costly, but also give good quality care. We survey our patients. They pull from that survey data as to whether patients are satisfied with the care.”
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program helped patients find quality specialty care, the release said. Research shows compared to other hospitals those designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ on average are 20 percent more cost efficient than non-designated hospitals, the release said.
Rice said RMH could not have been in the running to be a Blue Distinction Center+ without the teamwork of all involved. RMH’s Family Birthplace has been in place for eight years.
“If you did not have excellent staff, nursing and physician care the area would not matter a bit,” Rice said. “We have a beautiful area to do that in. The patients love it.”
Rice said the RMH goals remain the same year after year.
“We will continue to provide remarkable care and compassionate maternity care to fulfill the needs and preferences of our expectant mothers,” she said. “Our dedicated physicians and staff work diligently every day to place every patient and family first. We are deeply committed to ensuring the best quality care for our community.”
Fast said the nursing staff works hard to be educated on medical advances in maternity care.
“They have to have many certifications beyond an average nurse would have,” she said.
RMH is preparing for the future and will be adding a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this year. Fast said the maternity nursing staff has been busy completing their NICU competencies.
“That was a service we saw that we could provide our patients,” Fast said. “It will be nice to keep some of those transitional babies that we have had to send down the road before.”
Rice said the NICU will be a big asset to the Ottawa community.
“We think it will be great for patients and families so they can stay local in Ottawa and not have to be traveling to the city,” she said.