Spotlight on Richland Parish Hospital

October 2015
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

Richland Parish Hospital (RPH), known as Delhi Hospital by the locals and located in Delhi, Louisiana, is a 25-bed critical access hospital (CAH) established in 1936. In addition to emergency and acute care, the hospital offers cardiac rehab, diabetes education, mental health services, obesity prevention, radiology and a sleep center. They also provide assistance with transportation and operate a rural health clinic. Their motto is “Loving Hearts-Caring Hands-Dedicated to Life.” They were named nationwide to the “Top 20 Critical Access Hospital's List” for Patient Satisfaction in 2012 & 2013.

Mary Guyot, Principal with Stroudwater Associates, worked with RPH in 2014, through the Rural Hospital Performance Improvement (RHPI) project, on a Quality Improvement (QI) Care Management project. Center staff spoke with Jinger Greer, Program Development Director, Alisha McVay, DON, Linda Goode, Assistant Administrator, Sandra Williams, ADON, in January of this year concerning their progress.

Q: What are some of your hospital's successes regarding implementation of Mary's recommendations?   

A: “(this project) met or surpassed all measurable outcomes.” Patients in the correct level of care have been at 99% and readmission rates have maintained at a rate lower than the state average. Patient satisfaction composites for nurse communication, medication communication and discharge continue to be very high. To positively impact care management of the patients, whiteboards were installed in all rooms and include patient education on them. Folders for patient education were created and given to the patients. There has been more focus on discharge education throughout the patient stay and that is going very well. The hospital created an improved “orientation” to the hospital and unit for patients. This has helped to create appropriate expectations for patients and help them to feel more comfortable on the unit.

Q: What are the expected next steps towards adopting your consultants' recommendations? 

A: Mary recommended conducting discharge phone calls, especially for high-risk patients. The hospital is also to begin providing teach back education for nurses to assist them with strengthening the discharge teaching to the patients. There is also continued education with nurses about importance and relationship of patient satisfaction, perception and experience. 

Q: Aside from the measurable outcomes, what has been the impact of this project on your community?

A: The implementation of Mary’s recommendations impacted RPH in a number of ways, including data that confirms that patients are in right level of care and improved patient education.

Q: How do you believe this project has helped you move forward in the newly emerging system of health care delivery and payment?

A: This project has helped us think outside the box about quality and satisfaction. This, in turn, will potentially impact reimbursement. RPH will be better prepared if and when that does happen.