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Platte hospital wins national award

PLATTE -- Following the golden rule has earned a Platte medical facility another gold medal.

Platte Health Center Avera announced on Tuesday it received an Excellence through Insight award for the second year in a row.

"We're a very small community, you treat each patient as you would yourself -- you know, the golden rule -- or as if it's a member of your family," Mark Burket, CEO of Platte Health Center Avera, said.

The national award is for overall emergency department experience patient satisfaction for hospitals under 100 beds by HealthStream Inc., according to Burket. In other words, Platte's emergency care facilities received the highest marks in the nation in their category, based on patient survey data collected by HealthStream.

"We applaud Platte Health Center Avera's high-level commitment to excellence in healthcare," said HealthStream CEO Robert A. Frist Jr., in a written statement, "and are pleased to recognize their achievement through our presentation of an Excellence through Insight award."

The first year the Platte facility won the award, Burket said it was completely unexpected.

"It was really kind of surreal when it hits you that you're number one in the nation in scoring," he said. "You're kind of up there on Cloud 9."

Last year's award recognized the Platte facility for the 2012 calendar year, but the award was not announced until mid-way through 2013. Because of that, Burket said he and other hospital staff were able to take a look at their scores in 2013, and noticed they were better than during 2012. This year's newly announced award, for the 2013 calendar year, is proof those scores stayed high.

"We just kept doing what we were doing," Burket said. "We just rode that momentum through."

The award is just as significant the second time as the first, he noted, but different because this time, he and his staff knew it was attainable. And, scores seem to be on pace for the 2014 calendar year -- Burket said the Platte facility is still reporting in the 99th percentile of hospitals.

According to a press release from Avera Health, hospitals must score in the 75th percentile or higher and survey a minimum of 100 patients as a patient satisfaction-tracking client of HealthStream. More than 1,000 hospitals are represented by HealthStream.

egardless of the award, Burket said he has a top-notch team committed to providing the best patient care possible.

"Customer satisfaction is at the heart of our mission of what we want to accomplish. We want every customer satisfied," he said. "We were just blessed with the award again, and just feel honored to that fact."

Burket thanked the hospital's patients for recognizing the facility, as well. Platte, population approximately 1,200 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is a tightly knit community, Burket said. The 25-bed hospital has a patient population of about 6,000, Burket said, but the community's location near the banks of the Missouri River means its seasonal and recreational patient population swells beyond that mark. In the summertime, Burket said it's common for emergency care staff to handle boating accident victims and fish hook removals. There were three fish hook removals over the last weekend, he noted.

"It's just par for the course," he said.