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Stroke Award

PCRMC Receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

PCRMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Phelps County Regional Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Keri Brookshire-Heavin, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at PCRMC. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

PCRMC additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize Phelps County Regional Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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About Phelps County Regional Medical Center

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is one of Missouri’s leading regional referral centers, serving over 200,000 residents in south-central Missouri. PCRMC is a non-tax supported, county-owned, 242-bed hospital with more than 1,800 employees, 100-plus providers and a five-member elected board. PCRMC serves a six-county area, with its main campus located in Rolla, Missouri. PCRMC has clinics in Salem, St. James, Vienna and Waynesville, Missouri.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.

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PCRMC Nearing Completion of Updates to Operating Rooms

A large renovation project of the surgery unit at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is expected to be completed by the end of this summer.

PCRMC is partnering with McCarthy for the $4.4 million project to update three operating room suites and the pre-operative and post-operative areas. One of the operating rooms was expanded to make room for the new da Vinci Si surgical system, which uses robotic technology.

The renovations began in July 2017 and include an updated HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system, better lighting and other upgrades. PCRMC’s new surgery waiting area will be more comforting and accommodating to patients and their families. Upgrades include new furniture as well as areas to charge phones, tablets and laptops.

“The upgrades are meant to make the patient flow seamless and the workflow process more streamlined,” said Jennifer Bechtel, director of surgical services at PCRMC. “This will allow our patient care teams to work much better together.”

“At PCRMC, we are constantly working to improve the patient experience,” says PCRMC Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Shenefield. “We strive for patient-centered care in everything we do.”

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PCRMC Partners with LanguageLine Solutions for Interpreter Services

For patients who speak or prefer a language other than English, Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) has free audio and video interpreter services readily available to make sure clear communication occurs between these patients and their care teams.

PCRMC is partnering with LanguageLine Solutions to provide interpreter services for patients who speak foreign languages or patients who have hearing or speech difficulties. PCRMC began using the LanguageLine service on July 2, 2018.

This service offers interpreters for more than 200 languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). Live interpreters who are native speakers of several foreign languages are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

While family members may be present and want to help interpret, the professional LanguageLine interpreters are familiar with medical terms and can easily and objectively explain diagnostic, treatment and care information to patients.

“We’ve had interpreter services for many years at PCRMC,” says Kimberly Williams, MSN, RN, CNL, director of Case Management at PCRMC.

Interpreters helped patients in person or over the phone, but with LanguageLine, patients can see the interpreter they are speaking with in real time.

Before LanguageLine, interpreters often had to travel in person to help a patient at PCRMC, mainly with ASL. Time is crucial, especially in emergencies, so being able to connect to an interpreter quickly via a video chat will save time, Williams says.

With LanguageLine InSight video interpreting, patients with hearing or speech impairments can speak directly to an interpreter within minutes.

“The LanguageLine service will improve the patient experience and better serve our community,” Williams says. “In addition, through the interpreters, providers and nurses can better understand their patients concerns, symptoms and needs.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 6.4% of Phelps County residents speak a language other than English at home. The most common foreign languages spoken in Phelps County are Chinese, Arabic and Spanish. Compared to other places, Phelps County also has a relative high number of Thai speakers.

The LanguageLine interpreter service is available on iPads and tablets throughout the PCRMC organization and at all outlying clinics in the communities PCRMC serves. The service also is offered in PCRMC ambulances.

PCRMC staff are trained to help identify patients who need interpreter services, but patients and their families also can request an interpreter.

Williams says the interpreter services are easy to use. Through LanguageLine, PCRMC staff and patients can talk to interpreters by audio or video feed, or both, similar to Skype or FaceTime. Many of the iPads have TruSound cases that are designed to make the sound louder.

LanguageLine also offers a notepad feature for written communication, such as explaining medical records and consent requests.

“This service will greatly improve patient satisfaction and enhance the safety and quality care of patients at PCRMC,” Williams says. “Working with live interpreters will help ensure that patients who are non-native English speakers or who communicate by sign language are receiving the most accurate information while receiving care at PCRMC.”

For more information on interpreter services at PCRMC, please visit pcrmc.com.

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Nathan Ratchford, MD, Joins PCRMC Women’s Health Center

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is pleased to announce the addition of Gynecologist Nathan Ratchford, MD, to the PCRMC Medical Group. Dr. Ratchford is accepting new patients at the PCRMC Women’s Health Center.

He graduated from medical school at the University of Missouri in Columbia in 2004. He then completed a four-year residency program at Mercy (formerly St. John’s Mercy) in St. Louis.

Dr. Ratchford says he decided to major in medicine in college. “I thought I was going to be a general surgeon, but during the end of my third year of medical school, I did an OB/GYN rotation, and I thought that was a better fit for me,” he says.

He has 10 years of experience practicing medicine in Rolla. He decided to join the PCRMC team after seeing how the organization works. “PCRMC is a leader in providing care to the community, and I want to be a part of that,” he says.

Dr. Ratchford has had prior experience with PCRMC. For two years, he served as vice chief of staff followed by a year and a half as chief of staff at PCRMC.

He also is the new chief medical officer at PCRMC, a position he started on June 18, 2018. “I’m excited to be a part of the administration here,” he says.

Dr. Ratchford says one aspect he enjoys about being a physician is helping patients walk through their choices of making care plans and making sense of all of their medical options.

To learn more about Dr. Ratchford, or to make an appointment, call 573-426-2229 or visit pcrmc.com.

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PCRMC DDCI Joins Siteman Cancer Network

Phelps County Regional Medical Center and the hospital’s Delbert Day Cancer Institute have joined the Siteman Cancer Network to collaborate on efforts to reduce the impact of cancer in south-central Missouri through research, treatment and prevention.

The network is affiliated with Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Together, the institutions will provide access to cancer prevention and control strategies, and genomic and genetic testing. Patients also will have access to highly specialized treatments and technologies, including clinical trials at Siteman Cancer Center.

“Phelps County Regional Medical Center and the Delbert Day Cancer Institute are proud to partner with Siteman, a nationally recognized cancer center,” said Ed Clayton, CEO of the regional medical center. “This partnership will bring additional resources and care to cancer patients living in south-central Missouri.”

As a network member, Phelps County Regional Medical Center and the Delbert Day Cancer Institute will work with Siteman Cancer Center to assess cancer’s impact on south-central Missouri, develop a plan to lessen the overall burden, and measure results. Possibilities include a greater emphasis on reducing smoking rates and promoting cancer screenings and other healthy interventions.

Key components of the network affiliation include:

  •  Navigators to help patients coordinate access to highly specialized care for complex cases, including access to clinical trials, at Siteman Cancer Center.
  • Use of genomic and genetic testing to help identify personalized treatments based on the characteristics of a patient’s disease.
  • Development of a database that incorporates such information (with patients’ permission) to improve clinical care and patient outcomes.
  • Sharing of best practices to improve patient care. Examples include sharing details regarding how nurses and radiation therapists are trained to care for oncology patients, and implementing industry-approved guidelines for screenings, genetic counseling programs and post-treatment care.
  • Implementation of cancer prevention strategies, such as the use of interactive risk-assessment tools, e-books, videos and individual coaching.
  • Development of targeted interventions to reduce cancer risk and of evaluation tools to measure success.

The network’s efforts also are expected to increase the number of people screened for cancer, which should result in earlier detection and improved health outcomes.

“Siteman Cancer Center and Phelps County Regional Medical Center – through the Siteman Cancer Network – are committed to preventing cancer and transforming patient care in the communities we serve,” said Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, director of Siteman Cancer Center and the Bixby Professor of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. “Together, we’re working to build a healthier Missouri.”

Through this relationship, the physicians and patients of the Delbert Day Cancer Institute will have access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment resources available through Siteman Cancer Center, with care coordinated by both centers.

“The Delbert Day Cancer Institute was founded on the idea of offering patient-centered care,” Clayton said. “This partnership with Siteman is a natural extension of that initial goal.”