CARIBOU, Maine — An Aroostook County hospital has once again been honored for performance and patient care by a national company.

Cary Medical Center in Caribou announced recently that it had been honored over the past year with three National Awards from AVATAR International, a research and consulting company based in Orlando, Fla.
The awards place the hospital among the top 5 percent in performance, based on patient surveys conducted by AVATAR at some 400 hospitals nationwide.

For the sixth year in a row, Cary received the Exceeding Patient Expectations Award. The facility also received the Overall Best Performer Award and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Best Performer Award for Nursing Communications.

Kris Doody, the CEO of Cary Medical Center, said this level of recognition is unprecedented.

“We have received some very prestigious awards over the years,” said Doody, who will be accepting the awards at a special ceremony in Florida later this month. “But this level of recognition, with three national awards, reflects the quality of the people on our staff and the hard work we have been doing to provide exceptional care to our patients.”

The AVATAR Exceeding Patient Expectations Award goes to facilities whose overall score exceeds expectations for whichever patient types they are currently surveying, gauging patient expectations about quality of care, reliability and personal service. The Overall Best Performer Award, a first-time award for Cary, is awarded to the top facilities in AVATAR’s national database with the highest overall combined score for the inpatient, outpatient and emergency departments, and ambulatory surgery. Another first for the hospital was receiving the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Best Performer Award in Nursing Communications for medium-sized hospitals with up to 300 beds.

Shawn Anderson, chief operating officer at Cary, said the hospital has been focusing on improving patient satisfaction, and the AVATAR awards reflect that effort.

“It really takes everyone working together to achieve this kind of result,” said Anderson. “We are particularly proud of our nursing staff for their efforts in advancing nursing communication with patients. With all of the advanced technology now being used in our patient rooms, our nurses take the time to make that extra effort to be more focused on engaging with patients and families and to assess their level of comfort and understanding of their medications and procedures.”

The AVATAR awards won by Cary are based on results of patient surveys for about 400 hospitals in the medium size category, with a variety of questions posed to patients who have recently been in the hospital for an overnight stay or outpatient experience, including questions about the hospital’s medical staff.