Athens-Limestone Hospital

  • Location: Athens, AL
  • Award: Rural Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: November 2013

Athens-Limestone Hospital
Awarded Healthcare Organization of the Month

Athens-Limestone Hospital (ALH) has been awarded the Healthcare Organization of the Month Award for November 2013 by Studer Group, an outcomes firm that implements evidence-based leadership systems that help hundreds of organizations attain and sustain outstanding results. "We pride ourselves on assuring our patients and their families an outstanding experience while being guests at ALH. This is possible because of the training that our employees have received from the Studer Group. Employees are taught to connect to what it is that has given them passion and purpose in their jobs. By doing this, we've been able to get the results we want for our patients. We believe that it is important to respect our patients, their families and each other in the workplace. It is our mission to provide each patient with the exceptional quality care, service and compassion we want for our loved ones. This has been a guiding principle throughout our pursuit of excellence. It is the great work of our entire team that has made these results achievable and sustainable," says Hospital CEO, Kelli Powers.

The ALH journey to excellence in patient experience began in October 2011 with the recent arrival of current CEO, Kelli Powers and Studer Group Partnership. Starting from a baseline composite satisfaction score, ALH has double digit increases in all overall patient satisfaction in Inpatient, Outpatient, and the Emergency Room.

The accomplishments of ALH extend to their Mother/Baby Unit which remains a shining example of the hospital's overall success and to the Emergency Department (ED) where patient volume exceeds 34,000 visits each year. Despite the high patient volume in the ED, scores continue to rise above the national average.

From new and renovated facilities to new programs to new initiatives, Athens-Limestone Hospital (ALH) continues to strive toward excellence. During this time period the 101 licensed bed hospital has expanded the Emergency Room, renovated the Mother/Baby unit and Cafeteria. The hospital also prides itself in the new and updated technology in Radiology, Respiratory Therapy, Laboratory, and Cardiology. A new outpatient Cardiac Clinic and Cardiopulmonary Rehab Clinic were also added while also growing services in our 30,000 square-foot Wellness center and Physical Therapy Department. Off-campus services include the East Limestone Medical Center and Limestone Medical Village which are outpatient diagnostic centers. The hospital provides general medical and surgical care for inpatient, outpatient and emergency room patients.

Since their partnership, the hospital has added two orthopedic surgeons, women's center aesthetics clinic, and three new family medicine clinics (on the north, east, and west sides of town). In addition to the newly renovated emergency department, more physicians were added for better patient coverage in the ED. New community programs were implemented to introduce the community to the hospital's new culture, doctors and departments.

In addition to the oncology clinic, in 2013, ALH added several new specialty clinics including a neurology clinic, pain center, and urology office. Recognizing ALH's achievements as a Fire Starter, Studer Group is dedicated to helping ALH share the stories of how they are changing the face of healthcare today. "This award signifies that it is evident to the hospital's patients, employees, and physicians that ALH has created a culture of clinical, service, and operations excellence," says Chief Nursing Office, Jan Lenz. Continuing to fan the flame, in 2014 ALH plans to include a Long-term Acute Care Hospital with the addition of 40 licensed beds, a new Medical Office Building, a new Sleep Center(located behind the hospital), renovated hospital patient rooms, and all new beds.

ALH scores nearly twice as high as the national average with The Joint Commission, a national accreditation and certification organization for hospitals. The hospital also scores extremely low in infection rates and has outstanding life safety compliance. It also has been named a Tier 1 hospital by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. Through its affiliation with Huntsville Hospital, ALH has enjoyed financial savings and shared clinic integration.

"On behalf of our ALH staff and physicians, we are proud of the positive difference we have made in our community and we are deeply honored to have been chosen as Studer Group's Healthcare Organization of the Month," says Kelli.

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