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Best in the Nation: Irmo Ambulatory Surgery Centers Recognized for Excellence in Patient Experience

Lexington Medical Center’s ambulatory surgery center in Irmo has been named one of the best in the nation for patient experience by Press Ganey, a well-known company in the health care industry that collects patient, employee and physician evaluations on hospitals.

“Achieving this level of excellence reflects Lexington Medical Center’s commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality,” said Susan Horton, director of Guest Services. “The employees at Lexington Medical Center Irmo always strive to provide the most extraordinary care to our patients.”

With scores that consistently rank in the 99th percentile, LMC Irmo received Press Ganey’s Guardian of Excellence award, which honors health care organizations reaching the 95th percentile in patient satisfaction for each reporting period of the year. Fewer than 5 percent of organizations measured by Press Ganey qualify for this award.

“The surgical team in Irmo continues to strive to deliver the best quality care each day. They continue to amaze with their cohesive and collaborative approach and unite to achieve common goals,” said Theresa Falcone, director of Lexington Medical Center Irmo.

Press Ganey partners with more than 1,000 health care facilities across the nation to improve the quality and safety of patient care, to provide a positive and collaborative environment for employees and physicians, and to deliver exceptional patient experiences.

Front (L-R): Camila Anderson; Cynthia Byrd; Marty Zeigler; Christy Adams; Debra Mozeleski; Patti Zarzuela Middle (L-R): Pam Fields; Maria McGee; Pam Cannon; Jessie Holloway; Trudy Baker Back (L-R): Mandy Turner; Trudy Davis; Krista Hartley

L-R: Jennifer Lake; Lisa Verano; Jenny DuBarry; Paige Hydrick; Missy Ricard; Regina Kelly; Chastity Lukens Not Pictured: Sally Collinsworth; Cathy Gillespie; Peggy Mitten; Shenniqua Pressley; Allison Stuck; Laura Upshaw; Marlene Watkins

 

Teacher’s Baby Story Receives High Marks

It was anything but a normal day of school for Katie Laney, a second grade teacher at Bethel-Hanberry Elementary in Blythewood.

Katie was seven-and-a-half months pregnant with twins.

One morning in May, the unexpected happened right outside her classroom.

Katie Laney with her husband Jordan and their twin sons inside Lexington Medical Center’s Special Care Nursery.

“My water broke. I couldn’t believe it. I was frantic — a nervous wreck,” she said.

Katie was only 34 weeks pregnant. Her babies weren’t supposed to arrive until July.

“It was so early that it really scared me. I wasn’t ready. Nothing was ready at home.”

With her students anxiously peering through the classroom door to see what was happening, the school principal whisked Katie to the nurse’s office in a wheelchair.

Katie’s husband arrived and drove her to Lexington Medical Center. Inside Labor and Delivery at the hospital’s new patient care tower, a team of clinicians monitored the babies’ heartbeats and performed an ultrasound.

“I thought, ‘Are they OK? Is everything going to be OK?’” she said. “I just wanted them to be healthy and perfect.”

After a long labor, Darci Putnam, a certified nurse midwife with Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, delivered Katie’s twins. Baby Grayson came into the world at 4:56 p.m. on Friday, May 31, weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces. His brother Cooper followed at 6:37 p.m., 5 pounds, 1 ounce.

“They put each of them on my stomach for a split second – they cried and I felt comforted.”

But then, the nurses rushed the babies to the Special Care Nursery. As preemies, the twins needed extra attention.

Katie got a long look at her sons for the first time when she arrived in the Special Care Nursery later that evening. She still tears up talking about it.

“I was emotional seeing them because they were hooked up to all kinds of wires,” she said.

That’s when Lexington Medical Center’s Special Care Nursery nurses offered reassurance.

“They took time to explain what each wire was for,” she said. “They took time to get to know me, my husband and our family. Not only did they take care of our babies, they took care of us as well.”

The nurses explained that before the twins could go home, they needed to show they could breathe on their own, regulate their temperature and tolerate all of their feedings.

It was a waiting game. Katie and her husband spent all day every day in the Special Care Nursery. The 20-bed unit has all private rooms, which is a new model of care for Lexington Medical Center. Katie said it made a big difference.

“I couldn’t imagine sharing a room in such a sensitive situation or seeing other families coming and going,” she said. “The private rooms also helped us connect with our nurses even more.”

When Katie was discharged from the hospital, the twins had to stay.

“It was so hard leaving every night, but I knew the boys were cared for by nurses who loved them and would be there for them,” she said. “That made it easier for us.

Day by day, Grayson and Cooper made progress. One by one, the wires went away. Cards from Katie’s students filled the room.

After more than two weeks, the babies came home from the hospital on June 17. Today, they continue to grow and thrive.

Katie and her family remain grateful for the care they received at Lexington Medical Center.
“I can’t sing the hospital’s praises enough.”

To find a physician who delivers babies at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/OBGYN.

Shining Bright in Three Stars

Lexington Medical Center’s cardiovascular program has earned an overall three-star rating for heart surgery from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). Historically, less than 10 percent of heart programs in the United States and Canada achieved this prestigious designation, which recognizes quality patient and clinical outcome excellence. It’s the highest rating offered.

Open heart surgery at Lexington Medical Center

LMC began its complete cardiac care program in 2012 with expectations to perform about 100 open heart surgeries each year. But the program has far exceeded expectations. To date, LMC has performed more than 2,575 open heart surgeries – an average of 368 surgeries each year. As reflected in the three-star rating, patients have experienced excellent outcomes.

“The STS three-star rating is a prestigious accomplishment. It signifies a clear separation in quality from other programs,” said Jeffrey A. Travis, MD, of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery. “We are honored to receive this designation again, and it represents a total team effort at Lexington Medical Center to provide the highest level of cardiac care to the Midlands.”

Jeffrey A. Travis, MD

The STS rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. STS ranked LMC in the highest quality tier for 2018 after surveying more than 1,000 participating programs. The latest analysis of data for coronary artery bypass grafting procedures covered a one-year period, from January 1 to December 31, 2018.

“As the cardiovascular surgery outcomes coordinator, I view all our registry data on a daily basis. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of a team invested in making Lexington Medical Center the gold standard for cardiovascular care,” said Lisa Pittman, RN, BSN.

LMC has continued to build its heart program by offering a variety of new services, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. This state-of-the-art cardiovascular technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve in patients without open heart surgery.

In addition, LMC has started to use insertable cardiac monitors, commonly known as loop recorders, to monitor heart rhythms around the clock. While versions of this technology have been available for years, new loop recorders are as small as a paper clip and require an incision of just a few millimeters. LMC also has an electrophysiology lab to treat patients with abnormal heart rhythms.

Importantly, quality oversight has been part of LMC’s affiliation with Duke Health for cardiovascular care. Twice each year, Duke cardiologists and heart surgeons come to LMC to review heart surgery and catheterization cases with physicians. The Duke Health physicians also provide ongoing peer review and evaluate new procedures for both the open heart and Catheterization Lab programs. When the hospital performs new procedures for the first time, a Duke representative is usually present for support.

LMC’s work with cardiovascular care doesn’t end with procedures and technology. It extends into the community with a comprehensive heart education program that teaches people about risk factors, prevention and cardiac technology. This outreach is especially important in South Carolina, where one out of every three people dies from cardiovascular disease.