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Platte hospital gets top ER award

PLATTE -- Mark Burket, CEO of Platte Health Center Avera, announced Wednesday that his hospital has been recognized with an Excellence through Insight award by HealthStream Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., for overall emergency department satisfaction for hospitals with fewer than 100 beds.

The Platte hospital, which has 17 beds, uses HealthStream's services to track consumer feedback to maintain compliance with government healthcare regulations. Burket said the health center was the only South Dakota hospital honored in its award category.

"This prestigious award represents a lot of hard work, dedication and acts of caring by all the staff and physicians of this facility," Burket said. "I'm extremely proud of our staff and congratulate them and their efforts."

Burket said he and a clinical representative will travel to Nashville in October to accept the award.

According to a Wednesday news release, Platte Health Center Avera was selected for the award because it received the highest ratings in emergency department patient satisfaction among HealthStream's clients, as well as for exceeding industry standards.

To qualify for an award, a hospital must have been a patient satisfaction-tracking client of HealthStream in 2012, and it must have scored in the 75th percentile or higher on surveys involving a minimum of 100 patients. The exact number of patients surveyed for the award was not disclosed, Burket said.

"We applaud Platte Health Center's high-level commitment to excellence in health care -- and we are pleased to recognize their achievement through our presentation of an Excellence through Insight award," HealthStream CEO Robert Frist Jr. said in a news release.

Burket said Platte Health Center's emergency room is staffed, completely on an on-call basis, by local family physicians Jerome Bentz, Reg Hagge and Rob Hubley, as well as the hospital's nursing staff. There is no separate emergency department because of the hospital's small size, Burket explained.

"Achieving this prestigious award reminds all of us in every department at PHC that by caring for the patient we can accomplish great things," said Dr. Bentz. "By working together to make a patient's experience as positive as possible we help them more quickly to get back on the road to health."

All emergency care at PHC is handled by physicians and not assistants, Burket said.

"If someone presents with a problem, he will be seen by a physician," he said.

Platte has E-emergency capability, said Burket, meaning the hospital maintains electronic video consultation services with Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls if a second opinion is required. The hospital also has a rooftop helipad if immediate patient transfer is needed.

Burket said Platte's reputation as an area vacation and recreation center means the hospital's ER sees a wide mix of patients of all ages.

"We have a broad range of exposure with our seasonal traffic -- snake bites, dog bites, fishing hooks and boating accidents -- it's a wide variety," he said.

HealthStream forwarded several patient comments with Platte's award notification.

One patient wrote: "Well, I was satisfied with everything, especially the doctor, the nurse, everything. There isn't one thing I was dissatisfied with. They were simply super."