News Room

October 23, 2019

Coleman Medical Associates (CMA) was recently awarded a Letter of Commendation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the clinic’s efforts to enhance the quality of care and improve the health status of Medicare patients.

This commendation is the highest honor awarded to clinicians participating in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), a national program established by CMS in 2015.   
The award places CMA in the top 15 percent of the 140,000 clinicians participating in the program.

“We entered the program with an advantage,” said Michelle Burdick, RN, “because we had already established a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Medical Home Program and a Chronic Care Management Program at the clinic.  This award is an indication that our staff is continuing to doing a good job with both initiatives.”

The Medical Home Program is a model of healthcare delivery that allows the staff of CMA to work with patients to assess their health, address specific problems and concerns.  The Chronic Care Management Program focuses on coordination of care for patients with two or more chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

Burdick is responsible for the development and management of the Chronic Care Program at CMA.

“It’s a team effort,” said Burdick.  “All of our physicians, nurse practitioner, nurses and other staff work together to enroll patients in these programs, and work in partnership with our patients to improve their health status.  As a result, we are able to demonstrate that our patients receive the services they need to get healthy and stay healthy, such as mammograms, vaccines, tobacco education and other preventive services.”  

“I am really proud of the staff at CMA,” said Darron Atwood, MD.  “Everyone at the clinic works hard to exceed the expectations of our patients,” he noted, “as well as the expectations of CMS.”  

May 28, 2019

The Newborn Hearing Screening Program at Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC) was recently recognized with a 2-year certification as a “Distinguished” program, the highest level of certification granted by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).

The program was established to help ensure all newborns and infants at CCMC are screened for potential hearing loss, with appropriate follow-up, and early childhood intervention referrals for newborns and infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing.  

According to studies, hearing loss impacts one to three births per 1,000.  If undetected and without treatment, significant hearing impairment may negatively impact speech development and lead to other problems which can influence their social and academic skills.  

In order to be certified by the TDSHS, a program must provide hearing screening using equipment recommended by the department, use staff with appropriate training to provide the screening, maintain and report data electronically, distribute educational materials, provide information to the parents on follow-up services for newborns and infants who do not pass the screening, and be supervised by an appropriate professional.

“We were thrilled by the news,” said Sandra Ratliff, RN, supervisor of the CCMC program.  “Our staff works very hard to maintain a high quality program that meets the needs of newborns, infants and their parents, as well as state criteria,” she explained.  “Certification as a ‘Distinguished’ program lets us know we achieving our goals.”     

There are over 230 hospitals and birthing facilities with obstetrical services or neonatal intensive care units licensed by the TDSHS that perform newborn hearing screening in Texas.  Only 170 meet the national and state criteria necessary to achieve “Distinguished” status.  

“This means that the services at CCMC are as good as or better than any in the state,” said Clay Vogel, hospital administrator.  “I could not be prouder of our staff or our services.”

The TDSHS has established four levels of certification for newborn hearing screening programs:  Preliminary (a new program), Provisional, Standard and Distinguished.  Eight data metric standards measuring performance against national standards and state performance averages are used to determine certification outcomes.

May 24, 2019

Coleman, Texas (May 24, 2019) – Clinical staff at Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC) attended a two-hour session at the Coleman Public Library, at the end of May, to learn more about the opioid crisis in Texas, and obtain additional training on the use of Naloxone/Narcan to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

 

“Concerns about opioid addiction and opioid overdose deaths in Texas and the U.S. have increased dramatically in the last few years, said Michelle Burdick, RN, “Opioid overdose deaths now exceed motor vehicle accidents as the number one cause of preventable deaths,” she explained.

 

Attacking addiction is, of course, a major concern, but decreasing overdose deaths is also a major focus.  The educational session — funded by the Texas State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and provided by Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative (TONI) in partnership with CCMC — offered free training to help local health, police and fire personnel, and other community members to recognize and reverse this life threatening condition. 

 

Trainers also provided each attendee with a free dose of Naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

 

“We want to spread the word about the prevention of opioid addiction and reversal of opioid overdose to as many people in our community as possible,” said Burdick.  Anyone who would like more information is encouraged to check out TONI on its website or Facebook page.  

February 20, 2019

Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC) was recognized last week with the 2018 TMF Gold Award for Hospital Quality Improvement. This regional award was given to only 51 of the 745 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that demonstrated improved performance on specific national quality measures. 

“We are honored to be recognized by the TMF Quality Institute for both reporting quality measures and improving patient outcomes as reflected by these data,” said Clay Vogel, CCMC administrator, “but the benefit to our patients is the true reward.”

“Our staff, led by our chief nursing officer, Melissa Ereman, has worked hard over the last four years to systematically identify and act upon opportunities for quality improvement.” Vogel reported. “I am proud of our staff members for their continued commitment to quality
initiatives.” 

This is the second TMF Quality award received by CCMC.

Ereman is quick to acknowledge the impact of all of her nurses on quality improvement at the hospital. “Everyone works together as a team to identify and address opportunities for improvement,” said Ereman. “Quality is a team effort and I have a great team.” 

“I also want to thank the support team we have at Preferred Management Corporation,” noted Ereman. “Kathy Mechler provides clinical leadership to all Preferred- affiliated hospitals and helped us to establish the framework for our quality program, Laura Crowell makes sure that we can extract needed data from our electronic medical records, and Megan Cody drives us to report our quality measures to various agencies,” Ereman explained.

“TMF is proud to recognize hospitals for promoting quality improvement activities and their senior management for promoting a quality culture,” said Tom Manley, CEO of TMF Health Quality Institute. “Quality improvement is a complex and demanding process, and we thank Coleman County Medical Center for their commitment to improving the health of patients and the efficiency of health care.”

The TMF Hospital Quality Improvement Award program is sponsored by TMF, the Arkansas Hospital Association, Oklahoma Hospital Association , Oklahoma State Office of Rural Health, Texas Hospital Association and Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals. There are three award categories: Gold is the highest tier, and has the most stringent requirements, followed by Silver and then Bronze.

Seven of the nine hospitals affiliated with Preferred were recognized by TMF in 2018, with five Gold Awards, one Silver Award and one Bronze Award. “Maintaining and improving access to quality patient care in our small communities is the primary goal of Preferred,” stated Andy Freeman, president and chief executive officer of Preferred. “We have invested in the resources necessary to support the efforts of our hospitals to achieve this goal, and I could not be prouder of the staff at the home office and in our hospitals for their hard work.”

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