Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) was recognized as one of the Top 20 Rural and Community Hospitals in the United States in the annual ranking of rural hospitals compiled by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and the Chartis Center for Rural Health. The rankings are based on a rigorous assessment of patient data from hospitals across the country using the Hospital Strength Index.
Achieving the Top 20 ranking puts GRMC in the top 1% of hospitals designated as rural in the United States. The US has a total of 6,090 hospitals, with 30% of those serving rural communities.
GRMC, a clinical affiliate of WVU Medicine, was the only Maryland hospital to make the Top 20 Rural Hospital list as well as the only hospital in the region to achieve this recognition. For the past three years, GRMC has been recognized as a Top 100 Rural and Community Hospital by the NRHA and the Chartis Center. This is the first time the acute care hospital has been ranked among the country’s Top 20 rural facilities.
“This is a tremendous recognition for our hospital, and our staff,” said Mark Boucot, President and CEO at GRMC. “It’s the hard work and dedication of the people working to provide our patients with the best care and experience possible who have made this happen. I can’t thank our employees enough for their dedication to our patients and to our community. Our mission statement says we strive to treat every patient like family, and being named a Top 20 Rural Hospital is evidence of the fact that our staff lives that mission, every day. Our medical staff is second to none!”
In determining the Top 20 Rural Hospitals in the United States, NRHA and the Chartis Center rated hospitals according to market share, quality of care, patient outcomes, patient perspectives, and financial efficiency. GRMC’s approach to providing patient-centered care relies in large part on three frontline councils that allow staff at all levels to have input on hospital operations. The councils – Patient Experience, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement – encourage input from frontline staff to help address issues throughout the health care facility.
The result is a hospital with a staff that is engaged, empowered, and willing to go the extra mile to ensure the patients and their families receive the care and respect they deserve. The staff’s dedication to quality care has resulted in the 55-bed acute care facility achieving some of the highest patient care ratings in the state of Maryland.
GRMC is the top-rated hospital in the state for reducing hospital-acquired conditions, and has had the lowest all-payer readmission rate in the state for the past five years. GRMC’s surgical site infection rate of 0.08% is far below the national average of 1.9%.
“Our hospital has achieved an impressive record over the last few years,” said Charles Walch, MD, Chief of Surgery. “Our surgical site infection rate demonstrates our focus on safety and infection prevention, and it has greatly benefitted our patients.”
GRMC is also ranked in the top 50 hospitals in the United States for its low readmission rates for both COPD patients and for patients diagnosed with sepsis, and was awarded 5 stars by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 2020.
“The accolades won by GRMC over the last several years show that the dedication of the people who work here is paying off,” stated Peg Kaiser, MD. “As a physician in our community I am proud to be on staff at Garrett Regional Medical Center. The staff we have is second to none.”
In addition to being recognized as one of the Top 20 Rural Hospitals nationally, GRMC was also recognized for its Maternity Services in 2021 by Newsweek magazine, and is the recipient of back-to-back safety grades of A from the Leapfrog Group, an organization that grades hospitals across the country on issues impacting patient safety and quality care.
“I moved to Garrett County a few years ago to practice family medicine with obstetrics. The high quality of OB care provided at GRMC was the cherry on top. Our statistics really speak for themselves. For instance, we have not had a c-section infection among OB patients since 2016, which really speaks volumes to the quality of care provided by our OB staff- the doctors, nurses, and aids. It truly is a team effort!” said Marlana Bollinger, MD, a Family Practice Obstetrician with the facility.
The hospital has also been named a Best Nursing Home for its Subacute Unit by US News and World Report for seven years in a row. Not only is the care provided of the highest quality, it also amazingly consistent, noted Kendra Thayer, CNO & COO.
“The quality of care at GRMC is second to none,” Ms. Thayer said. “We focus on quality of care across all of our departments, clinics, and services. We were awarded 5 stars by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid last year; our staff’s attention to quality and consistency is one of the reasons why.”
Mr. Boucot agreed.
“All of this success is attributable to our staff,” he concluded. “They make the difference because they really do treat patients like family.”