BJC HealthCare receives national recognition in patient experience


BJC HealthCare’s commitment and consistency in providing excellent patient care — even amid the challenges of a pandemic — has again been honored by national health care market research company Professional Research Consultants Inc. (PRC).

BJC hospitals, service organizations and medical practices earned a total of 151 PRC Excellence in Healthcare Awards, including 44 teams earning national recognition for at least three consecutive years. Thirteen teams earned Top Performer awards and more than 60 BJC Medical Group providers were recognized for performing in the top decile compared to national benchmarks.

PRC contracts with hospitals nationwide to conduct patient surveys. Data from those surveys are combined into PRC’s database. The Excellence in Healthcare Awards recognize the very top hospitals in the database in categories including individual inpatient units, outpatient facilities and departments, and overall hospital experiences. The 2022 Excellence in Healthcare Awards were based on data from patient surveys for services performed in 2021.

“The PRC Excellence in Healthcare Awards are based on our patients’ feedback, so they give us a unique and welcome perspective on how well we’re doing our jobs — even through the adversity of the pandemic,” BJC president and CEO Rich Liekweg says. “This recognition is not only one that each and every one of our BJC team members can take pride in, but one that we can use as a benchmark to match or exceed in the future.”

“It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork, compassion and showing up every day to create a truly elevated human experience, not just for those we care for, but for those who care for our patients too,” says Jennifer Carron, BJC patient experience officer. She notes that patients encounter about 60 team members during an average 4½-day stay, not including behind-the-scenes support staff.

“These awards show the true meaning of teamwork,” Carron says. “It takes all of us to deliver excellent care and to be recognized as the best in health care.”

Making connections during unprecedented challenges

An excellent patient experience is built on the care team making a connection with their patients, Carron notes. “Patients may forget what we say and do, but how we make them feel lasts a lifetime,” she says.

While the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, BJC caregivers still excelled at connecting with their patients, as their PRC awards tally shows. Team leaders say it points to a deeply ingrained culture of caring.

For instance, the Alton Memorial Digestive Health Center staff kept up their practice of checking in with patients by phone before and after their visits, although COVID surges caused staffing changes and disrupted department routines.

“But when working in the department, the team still continued to give 100% to their patients there,” Amy Toenyes, Digestive Health Center nurse manager, says. As a result, the team earned the Top Performer Award for the third consecutive year.

The pandemic meant making “big time” changes — including COVID testing all patients before surgery — for the Children’s Specialty Care Center (CSCC) surgery team, says nurse manager Amber Hanephin.

“My team has taken it on with flexibility and a head-on approach,” she says. That approach helped the team earn recognition for the fourth consecutive year.

Missouri Baptist Medical Center diagnostic services director Michelle Onder says the outpatient GI/endoscopy lab and outpatient interventional radiology teams — both Top Performer awardees — had to modify procedures when caring for patients at the height of the pandemic. But they didn’t change their dedication to connecting with patients.

“The teams provide personalized care to each of our patients and build a relationship with them over the course of their treatment,” Onder says. “They treat every patient with dignity, respect and compassion.”

Doing the right thing for patients and the future

The PRC awards are well-deserved recognition of BJC team members providing patients the best care possible. They also provide a window into the organization’s health and future, says Carron.

“If we can connect with our patients on a personal and deeply human-centric level, we will build trust and partnership that will keep them choosing us for care,” she says. “I truly believe we have the world’s best team delivering the world’s best medicine. If we keep delivering excellent care, our patients will see BJC is the only choice.”

PRC Excellence in Healthcare Award criteria
  • Top Performers

    • The Top Performers Award recognizes outpatient service lines, inpatient units, outpatient clinics and physicians/providers scoring at or above the 100th percentile in PRC’s database.

  • 5 Star Award

    • The 5 Star Award goes to inpatient facilities, inpatient units, outpatient service lines, outpatient clinics and emergency departments scoring in the top 10% in PRC’s database.

  • 4 Star Award

    • The 4 Star Award goes to inpatient facilities and emergency departments scoring in the top 25% in PRC’s database.

See the complete list of BJC honorees.

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