FirstHealth Earns Top Rankings in Several Areas
Given the team approach to providing orthopedic care, Dr. Mark Brenner was not surprised to learn that FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital ranks second in North Carolina in overall orthopedic services.
Brenner and the six other orthopedic surgeons at Pinehurst Surgical work with the three independent orthopedic surgeons in Moore County to provide the highest quality of care for their collective patients.
"Patients are often internally referred to the provider most qualified to provide a high level of care," said Brenner, a shoulder and hand specialist. "If I see a knee patient, for example, I send them to one of the doctors that specialize in knee care. We all direct the care to the provider most qualified to do the job."
Moore Regional Hospital also ranked second in joint replacement, 10th in overall cardiac services, ninth in cardiology services and third in bariatric surgery, according to recent statewide hospital rankings released by Business North Carolina magazine.
The hospital ranked in the top 10 in the state in five out of 17 categories in the rankings, which were compiled by Health Grades Inc., the nation's leading provider of independent hospital ratings.
"FirstHealth has consistently been recognized as a top-performing hospital over the years in Business North Carolina and other publications," Charles T. Frock, CEO of FirstHealth of the Carolinas, said in a statement. "I am proud to be part of an organization where the physicians and staff deliver exceptional results on a daily basis. The expertise, dedication and commitment of these health care professionals is unmatched. They deliver the highest quality of care to the patients of our hospital. For that, I'm delighted their accomplishments are being recognized once again."
Moore Regional's overall orthopedic care and joint replacement ranked in the top 10 percent nationally, according to the magazine.
Brenner said the orthopedic team conducts a monthly service line meeting that includes doctors, nurses, surgical technicians, physical therapists, discharge planners and nutritionists, among others.
"Everyone knows what each other is doing, as opposed to everyone acting independently," he said. "It's an open forum all in the spirit of providing the best care possible. Essentially, everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction. That's the beauty of it. We all mesh together. As a result, patients are getting university-level care in a community hospital setting."
Dr. David J. Casey, an orthopedic surgeon who works with Brenner at Pinehurst Surgical, said he is asked all the time if the orthopedic specialists "compete." His answer is always "no."
"There's so much business around here," Casey said. "We all want top-notch quality for the patient. That's what so special about this place. The camaraderie and collegial nature of all orthopedic surgeons in Moore County make this a world-class experience for patients, physicians and staff.
"We're all proud to be part of an orthopedic program that's top-rated by any national quality ratings organization."
Dr. Joseph Hakas, chief of cardiology at Pinehurst Medical Clinic, said the county's 18 cardiologists work together in a manner similar to the orthopedic specialists.
"We have a cardiology quality committee that meets monthly," said Hakas, who chairs the committee. "We look at every step along the way, from the minute EMS arrives through discharge. We not only want to provide the fastest care but the best care possible."
For example, one of the group's goals is to make sure a heart patient has an EKG done within 10 minutes of arrival in the emergency room.
"We're averaging six minutes right now," Hakas said.
While the HealthGrades rankings are nice, Hakas said the county's cardiologists and support staff are always striving to improve.
"We want to be the best, so we're always looking to improve outcomes for our patients," he said. "We're pleased to have the recognition because it reflects the hard work of so many people at FirstHealth. We just want to improve."
Although the bariatric surgery program was highly rated, it has been put on hold as Pinehurst Surgical and FirstHealth work together to find a replacement for Dr. Charles K. Mitchell, who recently left the program that he started to pursue other professional interests.
"We have two surgeons that are interested in bariatrics," Pinehurst Surgical CEO John Rezen said in a statement. "We are working with FirstHealth to address program needs to provide the best care and to meet the needs of our patients."
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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