Award for excellence in patient satisfaction

10/05/12 — National Research Corporation, a nationwide expert in assessing patient satisfaction, has selected St. Mary’s Health Care System as a recipient of its 2012 Path to Excellence award for improving patient satisfaction scores related to information and education.

National Research selected St. Mary’s and other Path to Excellence award recipients based on their achievement within categories that patients have identified as being most important to the quality of their care. The award is bestowed only on organizations that are ranked by patients as being a top performer in one of multiple key areas such as overall rating, would recommend, and most improved.

The winners were selected from the extensive database of National Research hospital customers for their performance over the last four quarters. St. Mary’s was selected as one of two Patient-centered Care Champions for information and education out of a database of 208 facilities.

"National Research congratulates St. Mary’s for their outstanding achievements in patient centered care," said Susan Henricks, president and COO of National Research. "We are proud to have St. Mary’s as a high achieving organization—they do what's right and that is putting patients and families first. Earning the Path to Excellence award indicates a strong and ongoing commitment to the practice of patient-centered care.”

As a 2012 award recipient, St. Mary’s is among a select group of healthcare innovators leading the way on the path to patient-centered care, Henricks said.

“By partnering with National Research and utilizing its measurement and quality improvement solutions, we have been able to make immediate adjustments to our care processes,” said Nina Evans, St. Mary’s Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “We’re better able to satisfy our patients’ needs, earn their trust, and improve their feelings about the care they receive. This rapid improvement has a multiplying effect, as it creates a strong referral network and puts St. Mary’s top of mind the next time these satisfied patients seek medical treatment.”

The effort to boost St. Mary’s patient satisfaction scores started in 2009 as St. Mary’s strengthened its emphasis on building a culture of patient-centered care, Evans said. Then, by emphasizing key drivers of satisfaction, such as communication with nurses, St. Mary’s was able to improve its already good patient satisfaction scores by about 15 percentage points.

“Making this dramatic improvement in our culture of care required the dedication and commitment of everyone at St. Mary’s, from environmental services and engineering to nursing and our physicians,” Evans said. “It took everyone ‘buying into’ the fundamental truth that patient satisfaction is based on much more than technical proficiency. It’s about communicating. It’s about building a trusting relationship with the people we serve.”

About National Research Corporation
For more than 30 years, National Corporation (NASDAQ: NRCI) has been at the forefront of patient-centered care. Today’s the company’s focus on empowering customer-centric healthcare across the continuum extends patient-centered care to incorporate families, communities, employees, senior housing residents, and other stakeholders.

Currently recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the largest patient satisfaction firms in the U.S., National Research is dedicated to representing the true voice of patients and other healthcare stakeholders. This integration of cross-continuum metrics and analytics uncovers insights for effective performance improvement, quality measurement, care transitions, and many other factors that impact population health management.

For more information, call 800-388-4264, write to, or visit

About St. Mary’s Health Care System
St. Mary’s is a not-for-profit Catholic health care provider whose mission is to be a compassionate healing presence in the communities we serve. Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Mary’s is built on a foundation of values that include excellence, compassion, integrity and reverence for each person.

St. Mary’s focuses on neurosciences, cardiac care, orthopedics, general medicine/general surgery, women’s and children’s health, and gastroenterology. Facilities include 196-bed St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, 25-bed St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greene County and Highland Hills Village retirement community. Services include emergency care, intensive care, home health care/hospice services, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, preventive care, state-of-the art diagnostic and therapeutic care and a growing network of physician practices.

Georgia’s Hospital of the Year in 2006 and 2010, St. Mary’s is proud to be the official health care provider for the University of Georgia Athletic Association. St. Mary’s has earned the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for advanced primary stroke care, advanced inpatient diabetes, heart failure care, knee replacement surgery and spine surgery. For more information, visit St. Mary’s website at

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