ANGOLA — Connie McCahill is still making rounds at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital even though it has been years since she was a practicing nurse.
The CEO and president implemented this new program early this year to have administration check in on patients daily, even though some of them aren’t medical practitioners. It is all part of an effort to let patients know that Cameron truly cares about them and to follow through with their requests during their stay and afterward.
“It works. I find it to be very effective,” McCahill said.
It is attention to patient care and a variety of accolades the hospital has received in recent months that has led to McCahill being recognized by Becker Healthcare as one of its “70 critical access hospital CEOs to know” for 2019.
“The men and women included on this list lead hospitals with 25 beds or fewer that have been recognized for innovation, quality and patient safety on the local and national level,” the Chicago-based health care publishing company said. “Several have overseen hospital expansions, mergers and (electronic health record) implementations as well as the construction of satellite clinics and strategic partnerships with regional health care providers. These individuals hold an important role within their community, serving on corporate boards and state-level initiatives to improve access to care.”
Becker’s Healthcare compiled this list through nominations and editorial research, the company said. The individuals do not pay and cannot pay for inclusion on the list.
Becker’s Healthcare is a leading source of business and legal information for health care industry leaders.
“Thisi is a recognition for Cameron Hospital, not me, this is our team, we’ve just got a great team here,” McCahill said. “This is not the Cameron of five years ago. It’s a different Cameron. It feels different. It feels better. We had a great foundation, a great staff that has been here 20 or 30 years. A great foundation. We’re just building on that, developing that and being deliberate about service, quality, safety and finance.”
So far the rounds have produced what one might think would come from such visits: One woman left behind some of her flowers and cards and wanted them collected up and returned and a gentleman who was transferred to another facility wanted to make sure his vehicle was secured in the Cameron parking lot.
McCahill and her fellow administrators are doing rounds to offer reassurance, help with the little things and communication to make sure their hospital stays go well.
“I want to round every day almost as much for my own personal satisfaction as for the patients because when I hear them say, your nurses are wonderful, your doctors are wonderful, your hospital is sparkling clean — not every hospital is like that,” McCahill said.
Administrators who do go on rounds leave their business cards with patients so they can contact them with their concerns when they’re in the hospital and after their stay.
Things like this might not show up on statical analysis that hospitals all undergo, but they don’t go unrecognized.
“Those things get noticed,” McCahill said. Particularly, the hospital was recently recognized as one of the iVantage Health Analytics Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the country. It also received a four-star rating and is working toward the top, a five-star rating.
Working toward these goals helps Cameron attract patients and remain viable at a time when many small community hospitals in the country are closing.
“If the hospital would close or move out of the community, people would die,” McCahill said. That’s because people would have to drive perhaps great distances for care, possibly during instances where time is of the essence.
The administrators were also recognized for their work in their communities, something Cameron stresses as being important with all employees.
McCahill is a member of the Steuben County YMCA board of directors and Steuben County Economic Development Corp. board.
McCahill is proud of the accomplishments at the hospital and invites members of the community to come visit to see what the changing Cameron is all about.
“That’s what we’re asking the community. If you haven’t seen us in the last five years, come take a look at us,” she said.