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



American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Awards

At 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 Award by:

  • Achieving 85 percent or greater composite score on quality 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

NHRMC received the AHA Mission: Silver NSTEMI Award, the first year of the award and highest level given, by:

  • Achieving specific criteria and standards at a set level for 12 consecutive months

American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award 

NHRMC's Emergency Medical Services and AirLink VitaLink Critical Care Transport teams received the award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. For the third time, NHRMC EMS and Airlink VitaLink Critical Care Transport teams received the highest Mission: Lifeline award possible.

Recognition Criteria

  • NHRMC’s medical contact to artery open time was 74 minutes - less than the national standard median time of 90 minutes
  • NHRMC averaged 90 minutes for patients transferred from a referring hospital for medical contact to artery open time - less than the national median time of 120 minutes

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

2017 Women's Choice LogoNew 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 a national list focused on female patient satisfaction and recommendation scores. Scores are determined by measures of effective communication with nurses and doctors, responsiveness, pain management, explanations of medications, cleanliness and patient recommendation ratings.

NHRMC is one of 400 award recipients representing hospitals that have met the highest standards for patient experience in the U.S. by the Women’s Choice Award.

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

GWTGNHRMC's Stroke Program received the Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award in 2018 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  

Home Care Elite

HCE 2016 Top100NHRMC Home Care has been named to the 2016 HomeCare Elite list of top nationwide home care agencies for the third year in a row. The recognition is based on quality outcomes, best practice implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency and financial performance. This market-leading review, from ABILITY Network and sponsored by 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 2017 Women’s Choice Award, which uses evidence-based research to identify the brands, products and services most recommended and trusted by women.

2017 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.

Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing

Hurst Gold Standard AwardNew Hanover Regional Medical Center was awarded the 2017 Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing by Hurst Review Services, one of the largest providers of nursing analytics in the nation. The award is given to healthcare facilities nationally who have achieved the highest level of nursing care.

At NHRMC more than 2,200 nurses drive the medical center’s mission by not only providing compassionate care at the bedside, but also through projects such as patient safety programs, new treatment initiatives, and community involvement.

The quality indicators used to define the Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing include nurse communication, staff responsiveness, medication communication, pain management, discharge information and care transition.