It takes a five-star village for health care

HCM's recent award shows continued commitment to quality, community

When the announcement was made a few weeks ago that Hill Country Memorial was named the only rural hospital among just 102 in the nation to earn a five-star rating, its leaders were quick to credit the community for its success.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the star system as a consumer-friendly way for patients to see the quality of hospitals, just as they already could with star-ranked restaurants or hotels.

Although humbly not unexpected, the top-notch recent ranking served as verification for an HCM “team” that its non-stop efforts at improving their patients’ experiences were paying off.

When Hill Country Memorial achieved a listing in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide for its patient satisfaction, CEO Jayne Pope reset the goal higher.

From top management down to its “boots on the ground,” HCM opened its ears to what patients had to say, isolated problems and worked to deliver better care. Doing so propelled the hospital into the top four percent of patient satisfaction in America.

Was that good enough? No. Pope expects better, driving her team now toward the top three percent. Some of her colleagues even suspect that when (not if) that level is achieved, she’ll reset the goal higher.

They have come to expect Pope’s ambition, even going so far as to embrace it, because that’s when “you can find out you can do it.”

Such a hyper-acute desire to serve their patients better is what’s going to keep Hill Country Memorial placing among the best providers in the country.

It’s a magic formula that has this small town hospital receiving a lot of attention from big city facilities. Others come here looking to learn the magic formula that has put HCM at the top of the game.


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