In Great Hands

BY Jason Frye

“Patients and their families tell us all the time how thankful they are to have a hospital like ours in their town ” says Jack Barto president and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. “Its not just the convenience of having a hospital nearby its the confidence that the medical professionals here are going to have the skills and expertise to take great care of you when you most need them. Theyre going to know how to give you the best chance of overcoming your illness or injury and theyre going to provide that medical care with compassion.”

Thats what drives New Hanover Regional Medical Center and has made it a medical destination for people throughout the region.

Through the years NHRMC has been steadily growing the depth and breadth of services available locally. Now there are very few conditions that cant be treated in Wilmington. Meanwhile the hospitals reputation is attracting patients who are willing to drive for this level of care.

More than 18 000 of the 36 000 patients admitted to the hospital last year came from outside of New Hanover County. Some of these are trauma patients who came for the coordinated care that can only be offered by a Level II Trauma Center.

Some came for the advanced skills of the only open-heart surgery program in the region. Some came for the regions only pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. Others were attracted by the orthopedic hospital that has earned recognition as one of the top orthopedic programs in the country.

The hospitals commitment to continually building and advancing specialty services has helped attract an impressive array of more than 600 physicians representing 15 different specialties. Many come from the countrys top medical schools including the Mayo Clinic Massachusetts General Harvard and Duke.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have this medical staff in the area ” Barto says. “Not only are they among the best and brightest in the medical field they are compassionate and committed. Few communities our size have access to so many top-notch physicians.”

NHRMC works with private practices to help recruit physicians to the region and often hires physicians for hard-to-fill specialties to ensure that the needs of patients are met. The hospital also serves as a residency training program through the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill which recruits many physicians who choose to stay in the area after their residency is complete.

The skills and knowledge of the physicians help drive advancements in care across the organization. Physicians are critical members of teams that shape the directions and priorities of their departments and areas of expertise. They collaborate on everything from the design of new facilities to the selection and adoption of medical technology and the standardization of care protocols advancing medical practices and help shape the direction and reputation of NHRMC.

The regions top health care provider also reaches patients with New Hanover Regional EMS outpatient diagnostic and rehabilitation facilities and a network of affiliates like Pender Memorial Hospital NHRMC Home Care NHRMC Urgent Care and the 100 plus primary-care physicians and specialists with NHRMC Physician Group.

In 2011 New Hanover Regional Medical Center was recognized as a
top-ranked Community Value Provider by Cleverley + Associates a leading healthcare consulting firm. The Community Value Five-Star Hospital designation means that NHRMC has scored well in four key areas: high-quality care for patients financial strength and reinvestment cost of care and pricing. Only 25 percent of hospitals in the United States achieve the Five-Star Hospital designation.

NHRMC has also received recognition from national consumer groups for patient satisfaction and patient safety.

The Zimmer Cancer Center North Carolinas only community cancer center received a three-year re-accreditation and commendation by the Commission on Cancer an honor less than 25 percent of hospitals receive. The Heart Center received two prestigious awards from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology for its high standard of care for heart attack patients. The ACC award marks NHRMC as an elite cardiac treatment center. Only 167 hospitals nationwide were recognized with this honor.

NHRMCs Rehabilitation Hospital is another facility that draws people from throughout the area. The inpatient hospital provides intensive therapy for those who have suffered from a traumatic injury or illness that requires more advanced levels of care. This care extends beyond the hospital walls as care is coordinated with NHRMC outpatient rehabilitation sites and NHRMC Home Care.

Advanced technology can be found throughout the NHRMC facilities but perhaps most noticeably in the Surgical Pavilion which was built to allow for minimally invasive surgeries and the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. NHRMC was the first to use the robotic surgical system and has the largest team of experienced robotic surgeons in the region performing robotic GYN urology prostate and GYN oncology procedures.

This year marks NHRMCs 45th anniversary of serving the region and it has come a long way since opening in 1967. There was a time when patients had to leave the area to receive specialty care but through time NHRMC has grown and expanded to take its place among the best hospitals in the state. For that we can all be thankful.