At Johnston Health, 2018 was a year of national awards, advances in technology, and an emphasis on community outreach. Here are 10 highlights from a busy, productive year.
1. Nationally recognized! Johnston Health received the 2018 Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award, placing it among the top 15 percent of hospitals in the nation. Also, the health system earned As from the Leapfrog Group for the second consecutive year, and a four-star rating (out of five) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
2. Setting the bar high: The agency re-accrediting Johnston Health’s cancer program elevated its status to Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, noting its high quality of care. Also noteworthy, the Early Learning Center for children had a near perfect score for its re-accreditation. And another valuable service, the sleep lab, earned its accreditation.
3. Derailing Diabetes: Johnston Health is partnering with local organizations to tackle diabetes by raising awareness of the disease, educating people on prevention, and promoting early diagnosis. Through a year-long campaign called Derailing Diabetes, the hospital has set a goal to reach 20,000 people by March 2019.
4. Preventing stroke: Thanks to telemedicine, patients who arrive in the emergency departments with symptoms of stroke are getting the expert care they need. Through a video monitor, nurses can quickly connect with a neurologist, who can assess, diagnose and order treatment for the patient in real time.
5. Making house calls: Outside the hospital walls, Johnston Health is seeing progress in a program using community paramedics to follow-up with patients who have COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The paramedics make house calls to ensure that patients are taking their medications, following their doctor’s orders, and keeping their appointments. Through an electronic tablet, the paramedics bring to the visit a respiratory therapist, and together they look at every aspect of home care.
6. The Joint Center: It was the year that Johnston Health brought together on one campus everything a patient needs before, during and after joint replacement surgery. In the rehab room at the hospital, for example, patients can practice getting in and out of a car. Ahead of surgery, patients attend a special class to learn what to expect, and how to prepare for their recovery at home. Also notable, the staff is specially trained to get patients up and moving following surgery—all toward the best possible outcome.
7. An honor: The Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Johnston Health’s president and CEO, Chuck Elliott, as Citizen of the Year. During the past nine years, he has led the health care system through a recession, a major capital expansion, and a partnership with UNC Health Care.
8. Off to the races: More than 900 guests donned hats and suits for the first annual Portofino Derby Classic. The event by the Johnston Health Foundation raised more than $80,000 for the Angel Fund, which benefits cancer patients needing assistance with medications and other items related to their care. It was the foundation’s largest-ever event. Also notable, during its annual social, the foundation honored Ramona Cash of Clayton for her outstanding service to the community.
9. Babies! To accommodate a growing number of deliveries, Johnston Health Clayton expanded its post- partum care into an adjacent patient wing. More than half of the 1,508 babies born at Johnston Health last year were delivered in Clayton.
10. How’s your blood pressure? Checking your blood pressure is one of the easiest and most important screenings that you can do on your own. Last spring, Johnston Health partnered with the Johnston County Public Health Department to place blood pressure monitoring stations at 11 sites, including local public libraries and Johnston Medical Mall. There’s also pamphlets on healthful living and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.