Penn Highlands Elk Receives Two National Quality Awards

Penn Highlands Elk, located in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, recently received two national awards for its commitment to clinical excellence and patient satisfaction.

Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award

Hospital quality has never been more important, and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to research where they receive care before they visit a hospital.

Penn Highlands Elk was recognized for exceptional patient satisfaction by earning the 2022 Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award. This distinction places PH Elk in the top 15% of U.S. hospitals for patient experience according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals.

The award is based on an analysis of 3,173 hospitals that submitted at least 75 patient experience surveys to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for admissions between July 2020 and March 2021. Healthgrades applied a scoring methodology to 10 patient experience measures, such as overall rating and whether a patient would recommend the hospital to family or friends, to identify recipients. Penn Highlands Elk was one of only two hospitals across the nation with gains across all 10 patient experience measures.

“Providing positive experiences for our patients is our way of life at Penn Highlands Elk,” said Brad Chapman, President of Penn Highlands Elk. “We never waver in our commitment to provide patients with high-quality, compassionate care.”

"It's no surprise that patient experience in our healthcare systems has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it's exceptional that nearly 400 hospitals received top marks in patient experience," Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science at Healthgrades. "We commend these hospitals for their ongoing commitment in keeping the patient experience front and center even through challenging times."

Get With The Guidelines® — Stroke Gold Plus Award

For the second consecutive year, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognized Penn Highlands Elk with the Get With The Guidelines® — Stroke Gold Plus Award. The Hospital earned the Get With The Guidelines — Stroke Silver Plus Award in 2020.

“This award is a testament to our entire stroke team and recognizes their commitment to our patients,” said Mr. Chapman. “In order to earn the Gold Plus Award, our employees demonstrated that they are committed to providing care that has been proven to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.

Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of AHA/ASA to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines — Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Penn Highlands Elk for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, MD, Chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates — a win for health care systems, families and communities.”

About Penn Highlands Healthcare

Penn Highlands Healthcare was officially formed in 2011, and is comprised of eight hospitals – Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands Connellsville, Penn Highlands DuBois, Penn Highlands Elk, Penn Highlands Huntingdon, Penn Highlands Mon Valley and Penn Highlands Tyrone -- that have served area communities for the past 100+ years. Its business continuum also includes home care agencies, long-term care facilities and residential senior living communities, as well as durable medical equipment companies and retail pharmacies.

Penn Highlands Healthcare has evolved into an organization with 6,651 workers in 150+ locations throughout 39 counties in Northwestern/Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania that include community medical buildings, outpatient facilities, surgery centers and physician practices. The facilities have a total of 1,498 inpatient, skilled nursing and personal care beds. The system, which has 827 physicians and 405 advanced practice providers on staff, offers a wide range of care and treatments with specialty units for cancer, cardiovascular/thoracic, neurosurgery, pulmonology, neonatal and high-risk pregnancy patients. Being focused on what is important – patients and families – makes Penn Highlands Healthcare the best choice in the region.