Regional West Medical Center Focuses on Positive Change Amid Projected Ratings

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― Over the past year and a half, Regional West Medical Center worked with purpose and commitment to identify and improve areas throughout the health system to provide patients with a quality healthcare experience. However, these improvements won’t be reflected in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings that will be released this month. In the July 2024 release of the CMS Star Rating, Regional West Medical Center will receive a one-star rating.

The star rating consists of five measure groups: Mortality, Readmission, Safety of Care, Patient Experience, and Timely & Effective Care. Within those groups, 41 specific measures were used to calculate Regional West’s rating.

The CMS star rating utilizes past data only, with metrics for this release dating back to July 2019, which does not reflect some of the significant quality improvements made in the last 16 months.

Recent improvements include patient satisfaction scores collected by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The HCAHPS Overall Rating, which measures the percentage of patients rating their overall experience as excellent, has increased by nearly 35% since the fourth quarter of 2022. Other improvements include the fall rate and hospital acquired pressure injury rates, which were better in 2023 than at any time during the star rating measurement period.

“Regional West has always made patient outcomes a key focus, but we needed to take a step back and look at the whole process differently. In the last 12 to 16 months, we have enhanced our focus on patient outcomes and quality rating initiatives, and projects focused on improvement,” said Chief Quality Officer Margo Ferguson. “Some of these projects include nurse leader rounding on admitted patients, post-discharge patient phone calls, and improved efficiencies in the Emergency Department. We are seeing progress and will continue to work to improve; the rating being released in July is a snapshot of who Regional West was, not who we are today.” 

Regional West Medical Center is accredited by the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ) by successfully meeting the requirements for Hospital Accreditation through demonstrating compliance with CIHQ Standards and the Conditions of Participation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Regional West has also received awards and designations such as the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® –Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award and designation as a Blue Distinction Center® for Bariatric Surgery, Spine Surgery, and Maternity Care by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska. 

The Regional West Air Link program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) since 2001, and Regional West’s Cancer Services program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC).

Mel McNea, Regional West CEO, emphasized the hospital’s commitment to improving the patient experience amid ongoing change.

“Although it’s crucial to review this information and identify areas that require improvement, we stay dedicated to the rapid progress and changes that have been happening and will continue to happen,” McNea said. “We have made a tremendous number of changes and are starting to see improvement in our patient satisfaction scores. Regional West continually evaluates the services and quality of care provided to our patients. We are working tirelessly to review concerns, enact changes, and improve processes to continue improving and providing the best patient experience possible.”

About Regional West
Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Nebraska is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024 and the only Level II Trauma Center in Nebraska west of Kearney. As the region’s sole tertiary medical center, Regional West features an expansive array of medical specialties and numerous physician clinics. Regional West offers comprehensive and innovative healthcare services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.