Quality at NHRMC

The story of New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s commitment to quality medical care and exceptional patient experience is best told through the numerous awards from national rating agencies that recognize accomplishments.

Some of these accomplishments include:

  • Our orthopedic program’s five-star rating for knee replacements for 12 consecutive years
  • Our heart program providing top quality care for cardiac arrest more than 40 minutes faster than the national standard
  • Our patient safety practices receiving a leading advocacy group’s top grade the past two years
  • Our excellent patient experience grades from the perspective of women who make healthcare decisions for their families

Here at NHRMC, our quality performance results from striving for the highest standards of excellence in all aspects of care throughout our system. We work hard to ensure that every patient is cared for by a highly skilled and compassionate team using advanced technology and following carefully outlined protocols, safety and quality assurance standards, all consistently applied through standard work. 

Through the years, our patients have told us what they like and don't like. We listen and make changes, recognizing we can always be better and every patient deserves the best we have to offer. The national awards we receive tell you how we're doing.


Health Grades Five-Star Recipient for Total Knee Replacement

5 Star HipIn 2015, NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital received a 5-star rating from Healthgrades.com for the 12th consecutive year for its knee replacement program. Healthgrades evaluates Medicare patient records to discern hospital quality.

It recognizes a hospital’s quality achievements for:

  • Cohort-specific performance
  • Specialty area performance
  • Overall clinical quality

American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline

New Hanover ML Gold Plus2016BAt New Hanover Regional Medical Center, we strive to continually find ways of cutting heart attack treatment times to give patients the best chance at a full recovery. The Code STEMI program is at the center of this mission. STEMI stands for ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. "Myocardial infarction," or MI, is the clinical term for heart attacks.

NHRMC Heart Center works in collaboration with hospitals and paramedics around the region to perform EKGs, recognize a STEMI and immediately activate the Code STEMI protocol. By doing so, they set in motion a series of steps at NHRMC. Cardiac and Emergency teams are activated, the catheterization labs are prepared, and the equipment is ready for the patient to be moved to treatment on arrival.

Recognition Criteria

NHRMC received the AHA Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Award by:

  • Receiving at least nine STEMI patients per quarter
  • Achieving 85 percent or greater composite score on eight achievement measures, ranging from treatment times to discharge protocol
  • Having no single measure below 75 percent on the achievement measures
  • Maintaining that standard for two consecutive years
  • Achieving first door-to-device time of 120 minutes or less for transfers

The numbers

  • In 2015, our EMS patients were at the hospital with a stent or balloon in their arteries in an average of 70 minutes. That's 20 minutes faster than the national standard of 90 minutes.
  • For a patient arriving at our emergency department, the artery open average was 39 minutes.
  • For patients who transferred in, the open time was 96 minutes, far better than the national standard of 120 minutes.

Because of those efforts and other achievements in the care of emergency heart patients, the NHRMC Heart Center received the American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Achievement Award in 2016.

In addition, New Hanover Regional EMS and Airlink VitaLink, who play a vital role in helping NHRMC get timely care to you,  received a Mission: Lifeline Gold Award for 2015.

The Leapfrog Group: A Safety Score

New Hanover Regional Medical Center's commitment to safety was recognized by The Leapfrog Group, which awarded the hospital an 'A' grade in 2016. 

The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog.

The Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a letter grade of A to F representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm, including accidents, errors, injuries and infections. 

Women's Choice Award: America's Best Hospitals for Patient Experience

WCA_ABH_2016New Hanover Regional Medical Center's commitment to our patients has been recognized with the Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience. 

America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience is the only national list to focus on female patient satisfaction and recommendation scores. The process begins with scores derived by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for each hospital in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) database. The score takes a subset of the questions HCAHPS uses that research and experience shows are more important to women than to men. Weight is applied to each of those questions to adjust for relative importance and to arrive at a numerical score.

The 100 best scores in each of the four bed size categories determine the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience award winners. NHRMC falls in the largest category, which includes hospitals with more than 400 beds.


Women's Choice Award: America's Best Hospitals for Cancer Care

WCCancer CareNew Hanover Regional Medical Center's Cancer Program has been recognized as one of America’s best hospitals for cancer care by the Women’s Choice Award, an organization that uses evidence-based research to identify the brands, products and services most recommended and trusted by women.

NHRMC joins an elite network of 331 hospitals who have earned the 2015 Women’s Choice Award by meeting the highest cancer care accreditation standards of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

This rewards excellence in patient safety and a high recommendation rate, a measure important to women in choosing a hospital.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association: Stroke Gold Plus

AHA ASA StrokeNHRMC's Stroke Program received the Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award in 2016 and was recognized on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, two quality recognitions presented by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. 

To receive the Gold Plus Achievement Award, hospitals must:

  • Treat stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care for two or more consecutive 12-month periods
  • Achieve 75 percent or higher compliance in 5 out of 8 quality measures

The standards measure:

  • Treating a patient quickly, appropriately and thoroughly
  • Scheduling followup therapies at discharge
  • Prescribing appropriate medication
  • Suggesting preventive measures 

NHRMC's composite score for all measures was 98.5 percent.

Stroke Honor Roll 

To earn Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus recognition, hospitals must achieve time to intravenous thrombolytic therapy, or door-to-needle time, of 60 minutes or less in 75 percent of stroke patients and door-to-needle time of 45 minutes or less in 50 percent of stroke patients. The IV therapy will break up a clot, which is depriving oxygen to part of the brain. Fast action can limit the damage caused by a stroke.

NHRMC's median door-to-needle time is 34 minutes.

BC/BS Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery

BC BariatricNew Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgery Program has been designated as a Blue Distinction® Center+ by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery are healthcare facilities with demonstrated expertise and a commitment to quality care while meeting requirements for cost efficiency.

Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery designations are awarded for two types of bariatric procedures: gastric stapling and gastric banding. To be considered for designation, the facility must provide a full range of bariatric surgery care, including inpatient care, postoperative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education.

Evaluation criteria are based on what impacts the patient and patient care the most, including:

  • The expertise of the medical team
  • The number of times NHRMC has performed bariatric procedures 
  • NHRMC’s track record for procedure results  

The Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers

TJC StrokeNew Hanover Regional Medical Center has received Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers from The Joint Commission, a recognition that means NHRMC implements the best practices for stroke care and has met and seeks to maintain the Joint Commission’s high standards in providing stroke care.

The review resulted in NHRMC also earning The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark, which represent excellence in quality.

NHRMC's Stroke Program treats about 900 stroke patients each year.

Home Care Elite

NHRMC Home CareHome Care Elite has been named to the 2015 HomeCare Elite list of top nationwide home care agencies.  The recognition is based quality of care, quality improvement, patient experience, process measure implementation and financial management. This market-leading review, from OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation and DecisionHealth, names the top 25 percent of agencies in home health performance measures.

Women's Choice Award: America's Best Hospitals for Bariatrics

New Hanover Regional Medical Center's Bariatric Surgery Program has been recognized as one of America’s best hospitals for bariatric surgery by the 2016 Women’s Choice Award, which uses evidence-based research to identify the brands, products and services most recommended and trusted by women.

Womens Choice Bariatrics LogoThe Women’s Choice Award recognizes hospitals that have met the highest standards of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. This award also notes that NHRMC ranked above the national average for patient recommendation rates and signifies NHRMC’s commitment to an extraordinary healthcare experience for women and all patients.

SafeCare Group: Top 100 SafeCare Hospitals

New Hanover Regional Medical Center has been named to the 2016 100 SafeCare Hospitals list for outstanding healthcare quality by the SafeCare Group.

SafeCare LogoThe list recognizes the nation’s top performing hospitals for 40 evidence-based metrics including HCAHPS, core measures, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmissions, complications rates in medical and surgical care, and medical and surgical infections. NHRMC was recognized in the category for hospitals with more than 400 beds.