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South Valley Riverton Journal

Intermountain Riverton Hospital receives prestigious award for outstanding patient experience

Jun 06, 2023 08:49AM ● By Dylan Wilcox

Press Ganey awards Radiation Oncology Team at the Riverton Hospital - Afsonai Godfrey, Business Operations Coordinator; Karen Miyasaki, Medical Dosimetrist; Kristin Smith, Radiation Oncology Manager; Todd Neubert, Riverton Hospital Administrator; Holly Taylor, Patient Representative. Not Pictured: Brock Westlund, Medical Physicist; Jon Grant, Radiation Oncologist; George Cannon, Radiation Oncologist; Michelle Miller, Radiation Therapist; Angie Ovard, RN; Lori Welling, RN; Carla Gomez, RN. (Courtesy of Kristin Smith)

Intermountain Riverton Hospital has been honored with the Human Experience Guardian of Excellence Award by Press Ganey, a global leader in healthcare experience solutions and services. The award recognizes the hospital’s outstanding performance in patient experience and places it among the top 5% of health care providers in the country in delivering patient experience in the last year.

“We are thrilled to be recognized among the best in the nation for providing excellent patient experience in our Radiation Oncology performance – based on feedback from our patients,” Todd Neubert said, administrator of Intermountain Riverton Hospital.

Press Ganey works with more than 41,000 health care facilities in its mission to improve the patient experience, enhance caregiver resilience, overall safety, quality and experience of care. The annual ranking of the top hospitals and health systems in the country is based on performance in patient experience.

“As a winner of the Press Ganey HX Guardian of Excellence Award, Intermountain Riverton Hospital is demonstrating their unwavering commitment to their employees and to the communities they serve,” Patrick T. Ryan said, chairman and chief executive officer of Press Ganey. “By putting their patients and workforce first each and every day, they are truly deserving of this award.”

The recognition is reflective of the opinions and experiences of the patient population, according to Kristin Smith, MHL, RTT, radiation oncology manager at Riverton Hospital. “Our Radiation Oncology team at Riverton Hospital is privileged to receive the Guardian of Excellence Award,” she said. “It represents consistent teamwork to support each patient’s needs and expectations as well as a commitment to provide an exceptional patient experience with each interaction.”

The HX Guardian of Excellence Award is a prestigious honor and signifies the hospital’s commitment to putting patients and their families first in all aspects of their healthcare experience. Intermountain Riverton Hospital has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing patient experience, safety and overall quality of care, and this recognition is a testament to their dedication.

Smith explained that their team being awarded this honor is due to their culture of safety and excellence.

“It’s a culture of excellence, a culture of safety – we work toward the why and what we do moves us toward our end goal. It’s the little things we do everyday that ensures our patients receive the best care,” Smith said. “In our department it’s the culture – we talk about everything that goes well and does not go well. Is there something that needs to be addressed to improve this? We don’t work toward the survey, but we have to be committed to the culture to ensure that the patient has the best experience and most incredible care possible,” she added.

The three driving factors behind their excellence is patient safety, understanding “The Why”, and a result of teamwork.

“We have a safety moment – whether it’s a billing, registration or frontline person, we identify that safety is number one. By supporting these individuals’ ability to speak up about safety, and it’s not punitive, it’s something that we’re all committed to – a culture of safety,” Smith said.

Ensuring that patient experience and safety is kept in their focus, Smith and her team at Riverton Hospital often reflect on “The Why” or their purpose of keeping high standards.

“We share experiences every quarter when we have staff meeting, we share an exceptional patient experience. Staff will share feedback about something that went well with the patient. Every experience that patients receive, we treat them as if they are a family member of ours. Have that compassion, that touch, we strive to be positive and to do your best,” Smith said.

And lastly, Smith says that they are able to create memorable experiences for their patients because of the cohesion in their team.

Angie Ovard, a registered nurse who specializes in radiation therapy and has been at Riverton since 2016 said that the award speaks to the leadership of the hospital. “I enjoy the culture here. The leadership is amazing because they prioritize compassion. As long as you are doing your very best, you’ll be supported in your clinical decision-making. The recognition very much comes from the top and the commitment to empathy and compassion,” she said.

Ovard explained that everyone involved with the patient process from the beginning to the end plays an important role. 

“The folks at Riverton – from our therapists to our receptionists –make every patient experience unique. One of our goals when patients come through the door is to make them feel safe, welcome and at ease. Cancer is not an easy diagnosis. They come very nervous and anxious. One of the first things we do is take the clinical element down a notch. We want them to know that we are here to answer questions. We try hard to make them feel safe, welcome and at ease. What we find is that we can take those steps and the payback is tremendous. When they first begin treatment, they’re on their guard, but by the end, we’re able to get through those defenses quickly,” Ovard said. λ