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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good Health News and a Hospital That Cares About Everyone

(PRWEB via PRWebDirect) December 19, 2007 -- When so much of the news we hear about the US health care system is what’s breaking or broken, it’s inspiring to hear the story of a hospital that is transforming stress and transforming lives. Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva, Illinois recently received two awards from HeartMath®, an innovative research, technology and training organization which is helping hospitals across the US create healthy environments for both staff and patients.
Delnor is the first hospital in the US to receive the HeartMath Hospital designation, the highest recognition awarded by HeartMath to honor those hospitals that meet or exceed standards of quality, staff well-being and patient care. The award also honors the leaders who appreciate and recognize the importance of employee well-being. Since implementing the HeartMath program, Delnor has seen increased employee satisfaction, reduced staff turnover, improved communications at all levels, and high levels of patient satisfaction. The second award Delnor received, HeartMath’s Continuity of Care Award, recognizes a hospital’s long-term commitment to integrating HeartMath practices into the culture of the hospital for staff and patients, as well as to the community. These awards were presented by Bruce Cryer, HeartMath’s CEO, on December 5, 2007 at Delnor’s Quarterly Leadership Conference in Geneva, Illinois.

It was in 2000 that Delnor’s senior management team passionately committed to a hospital-wide initiative to address issues such as reducing employee turnover rates, vacancy rates and costs. They also wanted to become a national leader in patient satisfaction as well as becoming the hospital of choice in their primary market. To meet these objectives Delnor embarked on a multi-faceted strategic initiative, which included HeartMath’s programs and supportive tactics in service excellence to achieve these goals. Delnor has advanced to the top by demonstrating how the real meaning of care can create an exemplary work environment.

Delnor’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Wright, says, “The HeartMath programs have enabled our leaders to sustain peak performance, to manage more efficiently in a changing environment and to maintain work life balance. For our staff, it has made the difference between required courtesy and genuine care.”

The results to date: Delnor has ranked number one nationally in employee satisfaction for the last four years. Delnor has also consistently exceeded the 90th percentile in patient satisfaction, after being at 73% prior to HeartMath. Delnor’s turnover has significantly improved, dropping from 27% to an average 6% turnover rate with their HeartMath-trained staff, whereas the industry standard is 11-12% and the national average hovers around 25%. Diane Ball, a certified HeartMath trainer at Delnor, says, “Our employees know that Delnor truly cares about their well-being on all levels and that makes all the difference. Our staff is happy, they enjoy working here and truly want to be here, and that’s felt by our patients when it comes to their care.”

This is not the first award Delnor has received in its ongoing transformation. In 2002 Delnor was honored with the Corporate Health and Productivity Management Award. In 2005 Delnor won the Management Innovations Award -- with HeartMath -- from the American College of Healthcare Executives and has been named to the Honor Roll of the Center for Companies that Care for the past three years.

HeartMath’s CEO Bruce Cryer remarked, “This is a time of unequalled stress in health care. The nursing shortage has reached unprecedented proportions, and high turnover rates, sick leave, medical errors, and shrinking reimbursement are adding even greater stress. With these compounding pressures, personal and organizational effectiveness suffer. Delnor is an inspiring example of a hospital which is putting care at the top of the priority list, creating a culture of care for their workforce as well as for the patients and their community. And they’re proving they can build a strong, viable hospital in the process,” says Cryer. “We’re extremely proud of their commitment to this process. Working with Delnor to facilitate their goals and watching their progress unfold has been very rewarding.”

Delnor has also outreached to their community with HeartMath programs for students grades 7 to 12 to help them learn how to transform test anxiety and improve test performance. They’re also offering HeartMath programs for cardiac and diabetes patients to help them learn how to reduce the stress and anxiety of their diseases.

To learn more about Delnor-Community Hospital and their community programs see http://www.delnor.com. To learn more about HeartMath’s programs for health care, see http://www.heartmath.com/health/hospital/index.html.

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