IMH among top 20 rural hospitals in nation

Ivinson Memorial Hospital was recently recognized as one of the nation’s top 20 rural hospitals by the National Rural Health Association. One of two Wyoming hospitals to receive the honor, IMH shares its achievement with Sheridan Memorial Hospital.

IMH Marketing Manager Kendle Dockham said the recognition shows how far Ivinson has come in recent years.

“It’s just one of those reassurances that we’re on the right path, that we’re doing the right thing and moving toward the end goal — and that’s providing exceptional care and just being there for the greater Laramie community,” she said.

The National Rural Health Association divides the nation’s 2,123 rural hospitals into two categories based on size, service and access.

“Critical access hospitals” account for 1,312 of these and represent hospitals with fewer than 25 acute care in-patient beds, with an average length stay of 96 or fewer hours, located 35 or more miles from another hospital and which provide 24/7 emergency care services.

As a 99-bed facility, IMH — alongside 810 of its cohorts nationwide — are designated simply as “rural” — the subcategory in which IMH was ranked in the top 20.

The association releases a top 20 and top 100 list for both the “critical access” and “rural” categories, but does not rank the hospitals within those lists.

“We don’t know if we’re like No. 1 or No. 18, or however it goes,” Dockham said.

In addition to IMH and Sheridan Memorial Hospital, two other Wyoming hospitals — Campbell County Memorial Hospital and Sagewest Healthcare in Riverton and Lander — achieved Top 100 status in the “rural” category.

Star Valley Medical Center and Washakie Medical Center were among the top 100 “critical access” hospitals in the nation.

The association’s rankings are conducted by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, which looks at eight factors in making its lists — inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives, costs, charge and financial stability.

This wide range of analytics means everyone at IMH — including providers, nursing, front line and other staff — is to thank for the recognition, Dockham said.

“Everyone, I feel like, has really contributed to this achievement,” she said. “It’s a collaborative effort for all of us. Just because they don’t take care of a patient or anyone like that doesn’t mean that they’re not part of this overall achievement for Ivinson.”

Ivinson CEO Doug Faus echoes this sentiment in a news release.

“Ivinson Memorial Hospital is proud of the efforts of its employees and medical staff who have contributed to our hospital achieving this designation,” he says. “We have made tremendous strides toward our vision of Exceptional Care, and this award validates our efforts. We know, however, we still have areas for improvement and we view process improvement as a continual journey.”

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