ALEXANDRIA, La. - Rapides Regional Medical Center is pleased to be named a 2019 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing health care organizations that have scored in the 95th percentile or higher in Patient Experience in Neonatal Intensive Care.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care. This annual award honors facilities that consistently score in the top 5% of all Press Ganey facilities for each reporting period during the course of one year.

"Congratulations to Rapides Regional Medical Center for receiving the Guardian of Excellence Award," said Patrick T. Ryan, Executive Chairman of Press Ganey. "This honor reflects their unwavering commitment to improving the safety, quality and experience of care. Their hard work and dedication are inspiring and we are proud to partner with them on our shared mission to reduce patient suffering."

This award represents an important recognition from the industry's leader in measuring, understanding and improving the delivery of care.

"The birth of an infant is a challenge for all parents; when that infant is born prematurely or with health problems that necessitate a stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), parental stress increases," said Karen Hathorn, MSN, RN, NEBC, Rapides Women's and Children's Hospital Administrator. "The role of the NICU team is to help educate parents and keep them informed - the more they understand and are kept in the loop regarding their child's care, the higher their satisfaction with the team."

The NICU team monitors a variety of quality measures to make sure infants are safe, while receiving appropriate care and treatment.

"If parents feel as if we aren't communicating, or that they can't trust the care their infant receives, we have missed the mark," Hathorn said. "The NICU is where we care for our tiniest, most fragile infants. Our team of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and other ancillary staff and medical specialists are integral in making sure our families feel they are an important part of the team.

"This award recognizes the family-centered care we provide 24/7/365 days a year."