Friday, October 12, 2012 11:44 AM

Fresno Heart & Surgical recognized again for patient experience excellence

Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital was one of three hospitals nationwide chosen for a 2012 Path to Excellence award by National Research Corporation, which surveys patients on their hospital experience.

For patients, this is just another way to know they’ll get exceptional care at Fresno Heart & Surgical, which has also earned HealthGrades® Outstanding Patient Experience Award for five consecutive years.

This is the first year National Research Corporation has recognized hospitals for leading the way in the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services value-based program. The new Medicare program, which began this fall, rewards hospitals that provide high quality care for patients, including how patients rate their pain management, communication from caregivers, and the cleanliness and quietness of the environment.

“Since the day the doors opened, the staff and affiliated physicians have worked diligently to earn patients’ praise and satisfy their needs,” said Wanda Holderman, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “I’m proud of the staff and physicians’ continuing clinical excellence and their extraordinary collaboration to put patients’ needs at the center of everything they do.”

National Research Corporation conducts the patient surveys used by the federal government’s Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS. The federal HCAHPS initiative gathers patient responses to 27 survey questions related to physician and nurse communication, speed of responsiveness, hospital cleanliness and noise levels, medication information, pain management and post-discharge care instructions. The survey, which is reported publically, is designed to collect data so health consumers can make objective and meaningful comparisons among hospitals on issues that are important to patients.

"National Research congratulates Fresno Heart & Surgical for their outstanding achievements in patient centered care," said Susan Henricks, president of National Research. "The hospital staff and physicians do what's right and that is putting patients and families first."

Fresno Heart & Surgical has also been recognized for its clinical excellence in bariatric surgery, carotid surgery and intensive care nursing. HealthGrades awarded a five-star rating to the hospital for carotid surgery five years in a row, placing it among the top 15% in the nation. And Fresno Heart & Surgical has received HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award for four consecutive years, placing it among the top 5% in the nation for the weight-loss procedure. And staff was recognized with a Beacon Award by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Erin Kennedy reported this story. She can be reached at