UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center
UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center is a 72-bed community hospiotal in Rio Rancho, N.M.
Credit: John Arnold

The University of New Mexico's Sandoval Regional Medical Center is in elite company when it comes to patient satisfaction. The Rio Rancho hospital has been named a 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

The award, presented Tuesday at Press Ganey's 2013 National Client Conference in Orlando, Fla., recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in patient satisfaction. Fewer than five percent of all Press Ganey clients reach this threshold and consistently maintain it for the one-year reporting period.

“We are proud to partner with the Sandoval Regional Medical Center,”said Press Ganey CEO Patrick T. Ryan. “Achieving this level of excellence reflects the organization's commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. SRMC’s efforts benefit patients in the greater Albuquerque area and are already leading to improved patient experiences.”

The award from Press Ganey, the industry's leader in measuring, understanding and improving the patient experience, is a milestone for SRMC, where patient safety and quality of care is paramount, said Dr. Paul B. Roth, UNM's Chancellor for Health Sciences.

“Our physicians, nurses and staff work hard every day to ensure that patients are treated courteously and compassionately,” Roth said. “It is very gratifying to see their efforts recognized with this prestigious award.

Steve McKernan, UNM Health System CEO, said the award reflects priorities that management set from the outset. “It all comes down to our interview process and finding the right people to work at SRMC,” he said. “There were key values that we thought as a team were necessary to deliver great healthcare.”

Those values included personal integrity, a commitment to teamwork and a passion for excellence, McKernan said. “SRMC established patient satisfaction as a core value, and they achieved this in their first year of operations,” he said.

SRMC opened in July 2012 with 72 in-patient beds in Rio Rancho, one of the fastest growing communities in New Mexico. It provides state-of-the-art mammography, MRI and CT-scanning technology, while offering special expertise in orthopedic and bariatric surgery.

Press Ganey, founded in 1985, partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities, including about 5,000 U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve patient experience. It regularly surveys hospital patients on scores of measures, ranging from their satisfaction with the admission and discharge process to the quality of the rooms and food and their interactions with doctors, nurses and staff.