A Regional Review

Exterior of Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

Thank you to our dedicated employees who helped us receive many honors in 2023 and who deliver excellent care to our patients every day!

Fort Sanders Regional Looks Back at 2023

At Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, we take our pledge of excellence to heart. Every day, we put our patients first and provide high-quality care that is recognized by national organizations. Thanks to our dedicated employees, we earned a multitude of awards and accolades in many areas and launched new services in 2023.

Top Cardiac and Stroke Care

Our cardiac and stroke care services were recognized this year with six quality achievement awards from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Advanced Cardiac Care

The American Heart Association created the Mission: Lifeline® program to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. The goal of this initiative is prompt treatment for heart attacks, continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. Fort Sanders Regional received the Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Gold Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award for timely treatment of heart attack patients through emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries. In addition, the hospital received the Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI Gold Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures for treating patients who suffer heart attacks.

The designations support Fort Sanders Regional’s reputation for comprehensive cardiovascular services and caring for patients with some of the most complex cardiac issues in the region.

Advanced Stroke Care

The American Stroke Association recognizes hospitals that follow the latest scientific evidence and guidelines to ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment. Fort Sanders Regional was awarded with the Get With The Guidelines®Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for meeting stringent quality and achievement measures.

The hospital also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award, placing it in the top ranks of stroke centers in the U.S.

Additionally, Fort Sanders Regional received the association’s Target: Stroke Advanced Therapy Honor Roll Award. The recognition is given to hospitals that achieve door-to-device times within 90 minutes for direct-arriving patients, and within 60 minutes for transfer patients in 50 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients receiving endovascular therapy.

Fort Sanders Regional again received the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet specific quality measures with more than 90 percent compliance for 12 consecutive months.

In addition to the awards from the American Stroke Association, Fort Sanders Regional’s parent company, Covenant Health, was named in the Becker’s Hospital Review list of “70 Hospitals and Health Systems with Spine and Neuroscience Programs to Know.” Fort Sanders Regional is the hub of Covenant Health’s stroke hospital network, the only one of its kind in the region. The health system was noted for its high-performing stroke and neurological care, and the use of cutting-edge technology and treatments.

These achievements reinforce Fort Sanders Regional’s standing as a Stroke Center of Excellence. It is the only facility in the region to hold both a Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission and two separate stroke accreditations from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

Recognition for Patient Safety

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center received an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group in fall 2022 and in spring and fall 2023. This national distinction celebrates Fort Sanders Regional’s achievements in patient safety.

Teaching Safe Sleep Practices

In addition to focusing on overall patient safety, Fort Sanders Regional strives to keep newborns safe by teaching parents safe sleep practices.

The medical center was designated a “Gold Safe Sleep Hospital” by Cribs for Kids®, the only national infant safe sleep organization. The organization’s National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program evaluates a hospital’s commitment to best practices and education related to infant safe sleep. As a certified Safe Sleep Hospital, Fort Sanders Regional is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and for providing training programs for healthcare team members and family caregivers.

The “Gold” recognition also requires that Fort Sanders Regional identify families and caregivers who need infant safe sleep spaces and engage in community outreach initiatives to promote education about safe sleep guidelines.

Celebrating the Launch of New Services

Advanced Care at Home

In March 2023, Fort Sanders Regional was the first Covenant Health hospital to launch Advanced Care at Home, which provides hospital-level care in the comfort of home. The program allows physicians and nurses to monitor patients in their homes from a virtual care command center 24/7. Patients can contact a medical provider at any time using advanced communication technology that is set up in the home. Additionally, patients are visited daily by qualified medical professionals.

The Advanced Care at Home program is designed for patients with conditions such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, cellulitis or gastroenteritis. From their home, patients can receive services like lab work, IV treatments, rehabilitation therapies, X-rays and ultrasounds.

Lung Nodule Program

Since launching its lung nodule program this year, Fort Sanders Regional has been at the forefront of lung cancer identification.

Low-dose CT scans, which use lower levels of radiation to obtain clearer images of the chest and lungs, are recommended for both current and former heavy smokers. The scans can help identify lung nodules, which are collections of tissues that can potentially be cancerous.

If the scan finds a spot that needs additional examination, patients may have a follow-up biopsy procedure via a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy. Fort Sanders Regional is the first hospital in East Tennessee to implement the technology, which uses a minimally invasive approach.

In 2023, Fort Sanders Regional performed more than 500 bronchoscopies using a robotic-assisted approach. The technology helps identify cancers early, leading to better outcomes for patients.

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