Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center

  • Location: Chanute, KS
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: February 2010

The road to being the B.E.S.T. at Neosho Memorial started in 2004 when senior managers read Hardwiring Excellence. The evidence-based concepts lit a fire by addressing opportunities the hospital faced. After, a few trials and an equal number of errors, Neosho Memorial became a full-partner client of the Studer Group in September, 2006 and results began to accelerate.

At Neosho Memorial, the B.E.S.T. stands for Bringing Excellence and Service Together. By aligning and streamlining, strategic objectives under the five pillars and being able to easily communicate those goals with staff, NMRMC focused efforts hospital-wide on providing ideal patient care.

"For me, Studer [becoming a formal Studer partner] was an easy choice because it is evidence-based," Dennis E. Franks, FACHE, CEO said.

"Our goal is to provide ideal care to our patients, the best place for our physicians to practice medicine and an outstanding place for staff to work. We call it the B.E.S.T." Franks, added.

How can a local, rural hospital receive these awards and recognition? It is simple. NMRMC staff members focus on the patient through the five pillars. Since 2006, results include:


  • Inpatient Satisfaction ranking increased from 59th to 97th as measured by Press Ganey all hospital database including 665,000 patients at 1700 facilities.
  • Sustained ED satisfaction at the 95th percentile rank or above for over a year as measured by Press Ganey all hospital database at 1600 facilities.
  • Initiated specific outpatient service and ambulatory surgery, patient satisfaction improvements using Press Ganey surveys beginning in 2009. Within one year, outpatient services ranking increased from the 49th to 65th percentile as measured by Press Ganey and ambulatory surgery mean score rose 91.2 to 91.6.


  • Patients Falls (found down) decreased from 36 to 16.
  • Medication Dose Errors decreased from 208 to 85.
  • Surgical Site Infection Rate decreased from 3.5 to 0.1.
  • UTI rate decreased from 2.4 to 1.0.
  • Core Measure Goals Met increased from 10 out of 15 to 17 out of 18.


  • Employee satisfaction scores increased from 63% favorable to 87% favorable as measured by AVATAR.
  • Achieved the highest score in the AVATAR all hospital database representing over 150,000 employees with an 87% favorable rating 2009.
  • Achieved the highest score for physician satisfaction in the AVATAR all physician database, Fall 2009.
  • Reduced employee turnover from 25.4% to 17%.


  • Days cash on hand decreased from 83 in 2006 to 71 in 2009.
  • Gross Days in A/R decreased from 76 in 2006 to 56 in 2009.
  • Total Margin decreased from 11.7% in 2006 to 3.4% in 2009.
  • Note: 2009 financial statistics are unaudited numbers. By completing $20,000,000 building project, total margin and cash on hand were impacted.


  • Completed three-year $20 million expansion and renovation project without using tax dollars.
  • Realized a 13.5% increase in outpatient visits.

Employees at Neosho Memorial understand that what they do every day makes a difference to providing quality patient care. From room service to valet parking to an award winning fall reduction program, they strive to bring the B.E.S.T. care to patients in southeast Kansas. This past year, NMRMC staff earned awards and recognition including:

  • Ranked in the top 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine
  • Highest scoring hospital in the Avatar International Employee Satisfaction Survey out of 240 hospitals surveying 150,000 hospital professionals, October 2009.
  • The highest scoring hospital in the nation for Physician Satisfaction measured by Avatar International, October 2009.
  • Received the Thomas R. Sipes Challenge Award for innovation and creativity in creating the Hello Yellow program for reducing patient falls, November 2009.
  • Awarded a certificate of recognition for significant improvement in patient satisfaction in Outpatient Services, December 2009.

Employee Satisfaction
Management's sentiment about tracking employee satisfaction has changed over the years. Prior to 2000, the medical center used an in-house employee survey, which lead to employee skepticism about confidentiality and commitment to effect change. Since 2000, a third party vendor has been used and the time span between surveys was decreased to 12 months. In 2007, employee satisfaction became a strategic goal.

Since 2000, employee satisfaction, as measured by percent favorable on the AVATAR survey increased from 63% to 87%. The 2009 score of 87% was the highest score obtained in the database of 240 hospitals (representing over 150,000 employees). In other words, NMRMC achieved the 100th percentile in employee satisfaction in 2009. Likewise, our physician satisfaction survey scored in the 100% percentile of all physicians taking the 2009 AVATAR Physician Satisfaction Survey.

Employee Turnover
Employee turnover has been a challenging goal over the past several years. In 2005, employee turnover stood at 25.4%. After much work and utilizing tools such as peer interviewing, turnover decreased until NMRMC achieved its lowest turnover in a decade at 12.2% in 2008. Although turnover increased again in 2009 to17%, NMRMC managers believe dedication to selecting the right employees, identifying low performing employees and retaining Bright Stars and Builders (high and middle performers) will bring turnover back within the pillar goal of 12% or lower.

About the Medical Center
Based on revenue, Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center is the largest critical access hospital in the state of Kansas. Located in the southeast portion of the state, NMRMC provides care to 45,000 residents in a 60-mile area. The medical center is a clinical training site for six allied health schools including a physician's family medicine program. With 366 employees, Neosho Memorial is one of the largest employers in the region. Over 75 employees participate on service teams and 88% of staff attend Town Hall meetings.

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