RMC Receives Care Transitions Award


  RMC received a Care Transitions award for reducing readmissions of Medicare patients with heart failure. From left to right: David Hill, Home Health Director; Nicole Rose, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager PCU; Crissy Brooks, RN, BSN, CHFN; RMC President and CEO Tom Dandridge; Gregory Dressel, M.S., C.F.N.P.; Nurse Practitioner RMC Cardiology; Mickey Wisenhunt, RN, MSN, Director Performance Excellence; Carol Phillips, LMSW, CCM, CPRM, Customer Service Director 
The Regional Medical Center (RMC) received a Care Transitions award at the Preventing Avoidable Readmissions Together (PART) initiative statewide meeting in August for reducing readmissions among Medicare patients with heart failure.

RMC received this award for reducing readmission rates of patients with heart failure by 20 percent or more. This was the second consecutive year RMC received recognition from PART for exceptional results.

“It is important to ensure that patients with chronic illnesses have the necessary resources to continue their care in their own homes once they have been discharged. Our team works together across many departments to provide each patient a variety of services to avoid readmission,” said RMC President and CEO Tom Dandridge.

RMC was one of 47 South Carolina hospitals recognized at the meeting with over 300 health professionals in attendance. According to PART the targeted readmission statewide reduction rate is now 15 percent with 5,031 avoidable hospital readmissions prevented since the PART initiative began.

The PART initiative was established in 2012 by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA), BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Health Sciences of South Carolina and the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence. PART was created to help reduce hospital readmission rates of patients in South Carolina with the chronic illnesses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and pneumonia. According to the SCHA, PART is a quality improvement collaborative that provides educational resources for providers across the state, along with opportunities to share experiences, innovations and best practices.

To reduce heart failure readmissions at RMC, an interdisciplinary team was formed to provide heart failure patients with several services to extend their care after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. The team holds monthly meetings to discuss strategies and meets daily to hold interdisciplinary huddles to discuss patients in the hospital. The team includes nurses and physicians as well as staff from Quality, Dietary, Pharmacy, Home Health and Cardiac Rehabilitation departments.

RMC Clinical Improvement Coordinator Crissy Brooks, RN, BSN, CHFN serves as team leader and coordinator. The RMC team has initiated various patient centered interventions. The team provides patients disease-specific education before they leave the hospital, a disease-specific booklet, a one-time free home visit from a registered nurse for teaching and follow up, and an assessment for an in home Health Coach by RMC’s Care Transitions Case Manager.

Patients recovering from heart failure are offered two free visits a week for one month to the RMC Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program. The program is nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and provides one inpatient and three outpatient levels to build strength and self-confidence for patients with heart disease.

RMC currently collaborates with local agencies and nursing homes to develop strategies that are designed specifically to help prevent avoidable readmissions and ensure proper transitions of care. RMC also participates in the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines. RMC has been recognized by the AHA and the U.S. News and World Report as a Best Hospital for achieving Target: Heart failure Honor Roll Status.

About the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties (RMC)

The Regional Medical Center, in Orangeburg, S.C., is a 286-bed acute-care facility, employing more than 1,200 healthcare professionals. Serving Orangeburg and Calhoun counties and surrounding areas, RMC is accredited by The Joint Commission and has Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center. RMC offers a 24-hour emergency department and a full-range of high-quality medical services such as same day surgery, orthopaedics, obstetrics, cardiology, cancer care, dialysis access and the latest in diagnostic imaging. The Regional Medical Center also operates nine Primary Care practices, three Cardiology practices, an Orthopaedics practice, two Surgery practices, an Internal medicine practice, an Internal Medicine/ Gastroenterology practice, and an Obstetrics/Gynecology practice, as well as after-hours Urgent Care with physician, lab and X-Ray in Santee and Bamberg. RMC’s Mobile Services van provides digital mammography throughout the region. For more information, visit

About the Regional Medical Center and MUSC Health Affiliation

RMC recently affiliated with MUSC Health, the most nationally recognized and comprehensive academic teaching facility in South Carolina, to further enhance select healthcare services for patients in the region. Current collaborations include telestroke, cancer treatment and surgical weight loss programs with future planned collaborations in heart, orthopaedic and behavioral health care. Through the affiliation RMC patients and referring physicians receive priority access to MUSC Medical Center should their treatment be required in Charleston. For more information, visit

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