Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ARMC

This is the second article to be published in Alamance Magazine. The actual title of the article was "Rave Reviews For ARMC". For those of you not local to the area ARMC is the local hospital, Alamance Regional Medical Center. I wrote the article primarily because I was tired of hearing local folks downplay the facility, which is actually one of the best in the country.
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Those of use that live in Alamance County are very fortunate when it comes to the availability of quality health care. We have Alamance Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in Burlington, a facility that’s only ten years old and has facilities that rival larger hospitals in much larger cities.

With such well known hospitals nearby, it’s often easy to dismiss the one in your backyard. As my wife and I have had a series of medical procedures over the past few years we did a lot of research into ARMC before we chose it.

In the research process I discovered a number of interesting items about our local hospital. Did you know that ARMC was selected as one of North Carolina’s Best Hospitals by Business North Carolina magazine? That ARMC also made the Top 10 list for orthopedics? I didn’t, and knowing those little pieces of information was very comforting when my wife had her knee surgery.

I’m always interested however, not only in what a hospital does medically, but how it’s run, on a day to day basis by the managers. I found that ARMC has been named to Solucient’s Top 100 Hospitals List for performance improvement, a means by which all hospitals are measured. This included aspects like quality of care, operational efficiency and financial performance. Only two other North Carolina hospitals made the national cut.

The real test for me though, is the people, and how they treat the patients. All of us are uncomfortable in the hospital, we probably didn’t want to be there in the first place, don’t feel well, are a bit irritable, and to be honest, in a lot of cases just a bit scared.

I’m always impressed with the volunteers at ARMC, especially those folks who greet you when you arrive for your scheduled procedure. They’re also your contact point if you’ve accompanied a loved one to the hospital. I’ve had more than a few experiences, and, in each and every case they were polite, helpful and extremely understanding.

That waiting period, while you sit quietly for your turn, can be very stressful. The care, compassion and helpfulness these folks provide, has far exceeded anything I’ve experienced elsewhere.

Our most recent experience at ARMC was for my wife’s hysterectomy. The surgery took a quite a bit longer than they’d originally anticipated, but as soon as the Doctor was through he came upstairs and explained everything. What he’d found, how the procedure went, what to expect over the next few hours and days and that he felt she was going to make a quick recovery.

She did recover quickly, and in no small part thanks to the nurses working the OB\Gyn floor that day. Any time she was in any discomfort or distress, I simply mentioned it to the staff and they were right there with something to get her feeling better again. Even when they had to contact the Doctor, they’d stop back in to give us an update.

I remember they were all very busy that day, but that entire group worked extremely well together, each doing their job, and more. There was always a kind word, a smile or a small joke to make us smile. These aren’t things they’re required to do, these are things that people who love their work, and the people they care for, do.

I can’t tell you where to go for your health care. I can tell you though, for us, ARMC is our first choice.

You can find out more about ARMC by visiting their nationally acclaimed website at:
http://www.armc.com/

Or learn all about wellness and use their interactive health information at: http://www.armc.com/healthgate.htm.

12 comments:

Cristie said...

Good hospital care is hard to find. It is very difficult here in our little community to experience a "good" er visit. X-rays are read wrong, diagnoses are wrong most of the time. Just last week a blood test of my daughters come back negative for something, and part of that sample the hospital sent to Burlington, (I think) and turns out it was postive! I was called on vacation and told, when If my hospital had given me the positive results, I probably wouldnt have gone to Myrtle Beach. Glad you dont have to go through that with your hospital! Glad you dropped by for a visit, come back soon!

Bill said...

Hi Christie - As you know, we've had our share of 'marginal' medical service here in Burlington.

The hospital however, is a shining star (in my opinion) in an otherwise mediocre medical community.

As one local doctor recently put it when referring to many of the Dr's in Burlington, "They're small town Doctors, trying to convince themselves they're in the big time."

If your tests were sent to Burlington, they most likely went to "LabCorp", a local company that's one of the largest testign facilities in the country.

I'm glad you stopped by here, you're always welcome!

Nina said...

That is great Bill, great article. I believe that hospitals have to have the best customer service, since you are dealing with ill people and their family members. It sure sounds like a great place to be if you need it.

Firehawk said...

Bill,

It's really something to find a hospital that really does the work well. After you've seen an orginization like that, it's easy to isolate the faults of a lesser institution.

In Salt Lake, we have one called LDS Hospital, and it's really heads and shoulders over the others. They saved my dad's life there, and my aunt wouldn't be walking today without their expert help.

Thanks for sharing in your writing success with us. Oddly enough, I think that a good many of your day to day columns here at the blog are just as good or better than this one. Seems like a good omen for your ongoing success!

Bill said...

Nanina - Thanks, it's really pretty good. The sad thing is, with Duke, Wake Forest and UNC Chapel Hill all within 30-45 minutes, the place is 'assumed' to be not as good.

FireHawk - I agree, I wouldn't be here typing at you had it not been for some very good medical folks 30 years ago.

I'll tell you a secret... I think so to, in fact I tried to get the editor to stop in here and see if there was anything of interest... but, specialty mag that it is, targeted articles is what they want...

It's been fun, if she actually goes for the Christmas article, I'll actually believe it's not a 'fluke'

As always y'all, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you're thinking!!

Trevor Record said...

Here in Canada medical is socialized so there aren't any hospitals that are very much better or worse than the next, but the system isn't doing so well right now. There have been cuts, and waiting periods are pretty bad! It's good on price, but can be pretty scary if you have to wait for a surgery.

Bill said...

Trevor - Yeah, socialized health care has it's good, and bad, points. There seems to be an almost constant discussion here about putting health care under governmental control. Me, I'm opposed to that as I think the 'market' is a better control mechanism... However, at times, I have felt like it would be far simpler to put health 'insurance' under some sort of agency. I know though, that wouldn't work well either.

Hope you're making good progrees on the new digs!

No_Newz said...

That's a great story Bill. I'm glad your wife's surgery went well too. I wish we had that kind of service around these parts.
Lois Lane

Chloe said...

Bill, I'm glad you and your wife had a good experience. You touch on all the things that make a hospital visit what it is: the little things, which in many ways are more important because that's what you remember later.

Spirit Of Owl said...

You took it and put it and made it. Brilliant job out of a really hard situation. Despite your emotional involvement you kept the prose clean and the feelings clear. Great work.

Bill said...

Lois - Thanks, she's had another since then, and that went, believe it or not, even better!

Chloe - I hadn't really thought about it that way, but you're exactly right, it is the little things that you remember!!

Spirit - Thanks man... I know I 'sweated' a lot over those few words. For me, the toughest part was weaving all the 'facts' in... I find writing much easier when I don't have to worry about someone else's "facts"!!

Travis Holt said...

I am sorry, but ARMC needs a booster shot in their ER department. They take children and adults who can be looked at and treated at an Urgent Care facility and leave the more life threatening issues for the ER at ARMC. I took my wife their last night due to her having severe pain throughout her abdomin and not having a bowel movement for over 4 days with no over the counter drug working to releive her of her problem. Already having had nausia & fever up and down and they didn't care to take it seriously. sat over 3 hours and no one attended to her as her pain fluctuated up and down. ARMC needs a better ER management and weed out the ones that are not an emergency to free up doctors to attend to those patients who really need the immediate attention. I will most likely pursue legal lawsuit if this leads to any complications my wife might encounter due to their lack of medical attention.