The Joint Commission Named St. Luke's Hospital A Top Quality Performer

The country's premier accreditation agency for hospitals has recognized St. Luke's Hospital as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for 2013. In announcing this milestone for the community hospital, The Joint Commission states, "This achievement demonstrates St. Luke's Hospital's commitment to assuring that evidence-based interventions are delivered in the right way and at the right time because it is the right thing to do for our patients."

St. Luke's Hospital is a Top Performer in quality measures for treating pneumonia and for surgical care. St. Luke's is one of 39 hospitals in North Carolina to be recognized by the Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for 2013.

"As you can imagine, the Executive team was thrilled when we received the news last week. And it's been hard to keep this great news a secret," said Ken Shull, St. Luke's chief executive officer. "I've had to keep this quiet since The Joint Commission gave us a 'heads up' that the Top Performers would be announced on Nov. 14 when their annual report was released."

More information on this award can be found at or To review the annual report, go to The Joint Commission's website.

"We are extremely proud to be nationally recognized for providing exceptional, quality care," Shull said. "Our teammates and physicians at St. Luke's have worked hard to meet the care measures, but it's great to know that we are meeting national standards for best patient care."

Chief of Medical staff and General Surgeon Jim Holleman, MD, agreed with Shull. "Excellent care is the kind of care our patients want and deserve. It's not an easy goal to reach, but that's what hospitals work towards. It takes knowledge, teamwork and dedication from everyone to provide excellent care. At St. Luke's, many people from various departments touch each and every patient in the course of their care."

St. Luke's Hospital, serving the medical needs of the Carolina Foothills for 85 years, is a private, not-for-profit community hospital that offers a wide range of acute services that rival many larger facilities, with the added comfort of knowing that patients receive personalized, compassionate care and attention in a smaller, healing environment.

From digital imaging services to state-of-the-art Rehab Center, respectful geriatric care and advanced surgical procedures, St. Luke's Hospital also provides Emergency Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Polk County EMS services and a helicopter pad are located on the hospital campus should a patient need to be transported for a higher level of care.

"Despite our size, we are staffed and trained to manage most emergencies that come through our ED; however some patients will be better served in a larger facility where specialists are readily available," Shull said. "If we can't provide the care a patient
requires, I doubt you'll find any better ED to stabilize and ship a patient quickly to a higher level of care."

St. Luke's Hospital also measures the time it takes to stabilize and transport a patient from here to larger hospitals in Spartanburg or Asheville. The national standard from an ED to treatment in a cath lab is 90 minutes within the same facility. St. Luke's average time is better than the national standard of 90 minutes.

"We believe the saying 'what gets measured, gets treasured,' because it sets the standard of care. To get the outcomes our patients want and deserve, we follow evidence-based care," Shull said.

The Joint Commission's Top Performer on Key Quality Measures program was introduced in 2011 to recognize accredited hospitals that attain excellence in accountability measures data reported to The Joint Commission during the previous calendar year. The data report on evidence-based interventions for the top reasons for admission to a hospital, including pneumonia and surgical care.

To be recognized as a Top Performer, hospitals must meet a three-step process for achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures. Eligibility for this recognition is determined using prior year's data that hospitals already transmit to The Joint Commission.

Top Performer on Key Quality Measures recognizes hospitals that demonstrate excellent performance on evidence-based process of care measures, and it encourages hospitals to consistently improve performance.

"At St. Luke's, we are very proud of this recognition," Shull said. "We will always strive to improve, but this just confirms what I believe-that we give exceptional care, close to home."