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NGMC Barrow continues enhancements with patients in mind

Published on April 19, 2019

Just two years ago, Barrow Regional Medical Center became Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Barrow, joining the Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) family as the System's third hospital serving patients in Northeast Georgia. After a successful year one, the hospital and its leadership team kicked off year two by listening to feedback from the community and building on its success.

"Our second year was just as impressive as the first," says NGMC Barrow president Chad Hatfield. "We continued to add healthcare providers to our medical team and strive toward our goal of providing high- quality healthcare services right here in Barrow County."

Among NGMC Barrow's many achievements during 2018, the biggest strides came in the emergency department. Beginning last spring, NGMC Barrow's emergency department hired 18 new staff members—something that’s making a critical difference in the lives of NGMC Barrow patients.

"Patients have been extremely pleased with the care they’re receiving in our emergency department," says Chad. "They’re receiving better, compassionate care, and wait times have been cut in half."

What's more, NGMC Barrow's nursing staff in the emergency department is more robust than ever.  The team has also reduced the length of stay for less urgent patients from 132 to 75 minutes and enabled patients to immediately see a nurse upon arrival. The new staff features a veteran group of 14 nurses with an average of almost 10 years of experience.

"There are many urgent care centers that can't see patients in two hours or less, and we're doing it in the emergency department," Chad says. "We’ve done so well that we've received requests to speak at national gatherings about how we've been able to be so efficient, yet thorough."

The accomplishments don't end there, though. Thanks to NGMC Barrow's advancement in several areas of stroke care in 2018, the hospital was designated a Remote Treatment Stroke Center in early 2019 by the Georgia Department of Public Health's Office of EMS and Trauma.

"This is another great example of how we're working to improve the health of our community and provide life-saving care here for Barrow and surrounding counties," Chad says. "This designation recognizes NGMC Barrow's focus on everything from rapid screening, diagnosis, and treatment for patients experiencing acute stroke – as well as prevention measures."

The Echocardiography Lab, Nuclear Cardiology service, and Medical Laboratory have also earned accreditations for achieving high standards of care.

To date, more than $7 million has been spent in renovations and a variety of state-of-the-art equipment. NGMC Barrow now offers 3D Mammograms, which means Barrow County residents can get improved life-saving imaging close to home. Patients and visitors are also enjoying the hospital cafeteria's new look and menu choices. From new fixtures and furniture to made-to-order omelets and a yogurt bar, the cafeteria is a point of pride.

The hospital's chef, Juan Turner, conducts a live cooking demonstration monthly on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Cafeteria. NGMC Barrow also offers a "Living Well" lecture series on the second Tuesday of each month, which features educational presentations from medical experts from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in Suite 380. Check www.nghs.com/barrow-events to register and see a complete list of classes.

As NGMC Barrow begins 2019, the hospital will continue partnerships with the Barrow County School System, Brad Akins Branch of the YMCA in Winder, Jaemor Farms and others to improve the health of the community.

"We've already added state-of-the-art medical equipment and will continue to enhance patient care and increase staff," Chad says. "It's all part of a campus-wide initiative to provide the very best in what a community hospital has to offer while working to implement programs important to area residents."

All of this important work led to NGMC Barrow being named Large Business of The Year during the Barrow County Chamber of Commerce’s 72nd Annual Dinner & Awards Celebration earlier this year.

Visit www.nghs.com/barrow to learn more.

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