In 2012, the United Health Foundation ranked Mississippi 49th in the nation in its quality of health care delivery to its citizens.
Those who are provided health care services by Northeast Mississippi Health Services, however, know that the care that is being provided is some of the best in the nation.
Recently, NMHS was the recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, one that is given to corporations each year that span a variety of fields.
NMHS was one of four operations to receive the award, which is given by the President of the United States. The award is named for former Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige who served under Ronald Reagan.
The Northeast Mississippi Medical Center is the primary hospital of NMHS, and West Point’s campus played a key role in the health care provider’s acquisition of the award.
“This award defines the way we do business,” said Northeast Mississippi Medical Center-West Point Hospital Administrator James Hahn said on Friday. “This is what other health care providers strive to emulate.”
Hahn sees over the West Point campus that is ever-expanding in its facilities and its services. He says that it is not just the doctors and the nurses who provide health care to patients that made this award possible, but it is every employee of the NMMC that contributed.
“This required the involvement of every employee in our system,” Hahn said. “All of the employees were involved in this journey.”
Hahn does not use the word “journey” lightly when he talks about the Baldrige award.
“It is a grueling process,” he said.
NMMC began that process by applying for the award, an 88 page application that included a glossary, organizational profile, and organizational chart and a system diagram.
Each employee in the overall NMHS system had to jump on board, and they had to follow strict procedures in order to deliver the best health care possible at each facility, including West Point’s and the flagship hospital in Tupelo.
“It takes a lot of work and commitment to be a part of the Baldrige journey,” Hahn said. “This didn’t just involve our flagship but all of our employees in the entire health system.”
Hahn and every other employee with NMHS carries a small foldout book on their persons, which enumerates a list of daily goals that are to be attained. The focus is on “people, quality, financial and growth.”
“It’s a daily focus,” Hahn said. “This is how we can be the best we can be and create a sustainable organization that will be the best that it can be.”
Along with the Wellness Center, located on the campus off Highway 45 Alternate North, there are numerous other facilities that focus on meeting the needs of patients in West Point.
A new wound center has opened up, which gives regular treatment to patients who have wounds that require regular checkups. Before, patience had to travel to Tupelo or Meridian to get these services, but they are now available to locals and surrounding communities.
“This is a community-based need,” Hahn said.
Hahn says that it’s not feasible to offer every kind of health care service at the West Point campus, but the medical center is 100 percent committed to addressing as many of the needs in West Point as it possibly can.