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LMC Irmo Shines in Patient Experience Awards

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Lexington Medical Center Irmo’s Ambulatory Surgery department has won the prestigious Guardian of Excellence and Beacon of Excellence Awards for patient experience from Press Ganey, an organization that tracks and ranks patient experience in many areas of health care across the country.

The Guardian of Excellence Award is for health care organizations that reach the 95th percentile in patient satisfaction for each reporting period of the year. The Beacon of Excellence Award goes to the top three organizations in the nation for consistently high levels of excellence in patient experience over three years.

amberg_131105_164“The employees at Lexington Medical Center Irmo are always striving to provide the most extraordinary care to our patients,” said Susan Horton, director of Guest Services. “They are honored each year for their accomplishments.”

Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities across the nation to measure and improve patient experience.

LMC Irmo has been serving the people of the Irmo community for 28 years. Approximately 150 surgeries per month are performed there.

An Unexpected Hero: LMC Nurse Saves Life with CPR

Tina Moak, RN, Lexington Medical Center nurse

Tina Moak, RN, Lexington Medical Center nurse

As a Lexington Medical Center nurse, Tina Moak is trained in CPR in case she ever needs to use it at the hospital’s urgent care center in Irmo. But she never imagined using it at Wild Wing Café® in Columbia’s Vista one Saturday last November.

Moak and her husband were out for a bite to eat after the University of South Carolina football game against Mississippi State when a woman sitting three tables away fell on the floor unconscious.

Moak ran over to help. The woman had no pulse, so she yelled for someone to call 911 and started CPR compressions.

The woman was Greta Cox of Charleston, who was in Columbia to attend her daughter’s high school cheerleading competition.

“I remember feeling hot and nauseated—I thought I was having a hot flash. My daughter was sitting right next to me,” Cox said.

Moak continued CPR compressions for nearly 15 minutes until paramedics arrived—a tiresome task.

Cox’s heart had gone into ventricular fibrillation, a deadly heart rhythm if untreated. Paramedics shocked her heart with a defibrillator. Moak continued CPR compressions and felt a weak pulse as paramedics lifted Cox onto a stretcher.

Cox’s doctors and Moak agree about one important thing. “The only reason she’s alive is because of CPR,” Moak said. In Cox’s situation, there is only a small chance of survival without prompt attention, including CPR.

When Cox left the intensive care unit at the hospital and moved to a regular room, she learned about Moak performing CPR and wanted to meet her. Later that week, she called Moak.

“She said, ‘Tina, this is Greta. Can you come see me? Can you come see me right now?’”

Both women immediately started crying on the phone. When Moak went to the hospital, the women hugged for what seemed like forever and cried.

“I don’t think it was an accident that Tina was at the restaurant that day,” Cox said.

Moak wasn’t supposed to be at Wild Wing Café that afternoon. She and her husband planned to go to a post-game tailgate, but decided to have an early supper instead.

“She saved me. I owe Tina my life forever,” Cox said.

LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger, Tina Moak, RN, and Greta Cox

LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger, Tina Moak, RN, and Greta Cox

Moak received a Hero Award at a luncheon at Lexington Medical Center in January, presented by LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger. Cox was there, too.

Today, they talk every week or two and are friends on Facebook.

And the women have a lot in common. Cox is a mother of twins. Around the time of Cox’s cardiac event, Moak learned that she was pregnant with twins due this summer.

“Tina is a selfless, phenomenal person,” Cox said. “She has a genuine compassion for helping others and I think that should be a requirement in health care.”

Cox’s heart issue remains somewhat of a mystery. Doctors think she may have had a blood clot, but they’re not sure. They also noticed some anomalies on her EKG that day. That surprised Cox because she eats right and exercises. She may have a genetic predisposition to heart disease. Cox now has a heart defibrillator implanted in her chest to regulate her heart rhythm.

When it comes to heart disease in women, Cox has advice. “Be aware of what’s going on in your body. Women often have different symptoms than men,” she said. “I now have a second chance at life. And I am so grateful.”

And Moak has an important message about CPR. “Everyone should learn CPR. And when you do, make sure you push hard and fast. You can save a life.”

Want to learn CPR? Tune in to WIS-TV on Monday, February 17 at 5:00 p.m. Or, attend our Heart Fair on Sunday, March 2 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Bush River Road in Columbia.

Same Day/Next Day Surgery Puts Patients “Back in the Saddle” Quickly

Andrew and Donell Allen enjoy riding their horses on their Lexington County farm.

Andrew and Donell Allen enjoy riding their horses on their Lexington County farm.

Andrew and Donnell Allen love to ride their horses on their Lexington County farm. But a few bad moves during a ride in September left Andrew in serious pain.

A trip to his doctor revealed it was a hernia – with recommended surgery.

“I said, ‘Oh – no, no, no.’”

The thought of surgery terrified Andrew.

“I was a nervous wreck,” he said. “I’m 44 and I never had surgery before – except having my tonsils out in high school.”

Donnell said Andrew kept putting off the surgery.

“My husband thinks he’s He-Man,” she said. “He would have lived with it until it got much worse.”

And then it did. In October, Andrew slipped and fell at a horse show, hurting himself even more.

“The women precipitate our men going to the doctor,” Donnell said. “He kept saying, ‘It’s just sore.’ He was in denial.”

After another trip to the doctor, Andrew’s family practice physician referred him to Dr. Raymond Fryrear at Southern Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Dr. Fryrear told Andrew and Donnell about Lexington Medical Center’s Same Day/Next Day Surgery program. This first-in-the-Midlands program gives patients a convenient option for surgical treatment. Consultations are scheduled daily with procedures performed that afternoon or the next morning at Lexington Medical Center or the hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center in Irmo.

Dr. Raymond Fryrear

Dr. Raymond Fryrear

Dr. Fryrear scheduled Andrew for surgery the very next day in Irmo.

“I was a nervous Nellie,” Andrew said.

The surgery began at 6:30 a.m. Andrew and Donnell were home by 11:00 a.m. And it all took place just one day after Andrew had his first visit with the surgeon.

The ease and quick nature of the process calmed Andrew’s fears and changed his perspective about having surgery in the first place.

“For anyone up for Same Day/Next Day Surgery, do it,” Andrew said. “It eliminated a lot of the downtime for anxiety to build up. I didn’t have a chance to fret about it.”

Donnell called the experience efficient, quick and convenient.

“You can have surgery done lickety split right there at Lexington Medical Center in Irmo. The care was also top-notch and state-of-the-art.”

Same Day/Next Day Surgery also includes procedures for melanoma, superficial wounds, soft tissue tumors, diagnostic procedures for muscle, temporal arteries and oncology, vascular port placement, and surgeries for gallbladders, breast cancer and anorectal conditions. Other procedures may be available in Same Day/Next Day Surgery, too. Patients can talk about that with their doctor.

“Same Day/Next Day Surgery keeps a patient’s time, expenses and care at the forefront,” said Dr. Fryrear.

After surgery, there was a six week healing period. Today, Andrew feels well and he and Donnell are back to riding horses, glad to be “back in the saddle” again.

For more information on Same Day/Next Day Surgery, visit Southern Surgical Group’s website.