TriStar Centennial April 07, 2017

Over the past eight years, TriStar Ashland City Medical Center has made substantial strides to rise above other hospitals by continually providing patients with outstanding care and by offering staff a place of employment they can be proud of. Under the leadership of Darrell White, the chief nursing officer and hospital administrator, the critical-access hospital is in its most promising position since opening in 1987. And with their 30th anniversary on the horizon, there is much to celebrate.

By placing extensive focus on quality improvements, the 12-bed critical access facility holds records, rankings and a reputation they can take great pride in. For example, out of the 164 Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) hospitals around the country, TriStar Ashland City is repeatedly ranked number one for patient satisfaction. Emergency patients can expect an average arrival-to-discharge time of 90 minutes, a mere six-minute average wait to see a doctor, and plenty of innovative equipment and top-of-the-line technology that both quickly and easily closes the gap between Ashland City and leading Nashville hospitals and specialists.

With the touch of a button, specialists at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville can be within inches of burns, wounds, and face-to-face with patients with a Telemedicine Robot. During the process that is similar to high-definition Skype, specialists control the robot from their computer and can conveniently talk to patients and doctors during an examination. Heart attack and stroke patients can be immediately stabilized, and the swift transfer process allows them to go directly to the area where they will receive the most appropriate care. The lab takes promptness as serious as accuracy, and the smooth-running upstairs operation maintains an average processing time of just 30 minutes for ER patients.

A bulk of their success, however, is not only how well they can care for their patients in their time of need, but is deeply rooted in their admirable company culture that has helped create a staff that is more like a family than merely employees who work together. Since coming aboard TriStar Ashland City eight years ago, White has worked diligently to improve data transparency, to professionally develop and engage all members of the staff, to hire people who fit the working mold, and to become actively involved in the community that surrounds them.

Community involvement and inter-office support and engagement are vital parts of who the TriStar Ashland City team is. Frequently hosting internal events like chili cook-offs and book fairs, the staff at TriStar can also be seen supporting local organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Courtney's House.

"People like to work at a place they are proud of," says White who is the driving force behind the stellar company culture that has gradually become the cornerstone of the hospital. "It is all about having the right team in a progressive culture. I believe that a high level of data transparency with engaged staff and physicians creates an environment of friendly competition and accelerates improvements," adds White.

Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP), a quality improvement activity and valuable resource for critical-access hospitals, recently designated a large portion of their monthly magazine to showcase the numerous accomplishments of the Cheatham County hospital that sees approximately 12 thousand patients annually. Their diligence, ingenuity, and forward-thinking is highlighted further in an excerpt form the MBQIP article:

"Median time to transfer for acute coronary intervention in the hospital ED is less than half of the national median at around 30 minutes, and all AMI care measures fall within the 90th percentile nationally. White credits the emergency department staff for this success, stating that nurses told administration what they need. They asked for a box to keep everything in one place for chest pain and AMI patients - protocols, documentation forms, and supplies. And so the "STEMI box" was born - actually two, so there is always a back-up. Now nurses don't have to leave the room for anything, saving precious time to move patient quickly on to a hospital where acute coronary intervention can take place."

Growth, positivity, a family-like atmosphere, retention, and transparency are just some of key reasons TriStar Ashland City Medical Center is being recognized at a national level. Although these honors are very important to them, Cheatham County's home-town hospital is endlessly motivated to serve their community to the best of their ability.

Information originally appeared in The Pleasant View Post April 7, 2017 issue.