Olney Hamilton named top 20 rural hospital

The National Rural Health Association named Olney Hamilton Hospital District as one of its top 20 critical access hospitals and presented an award for quality to Hospital CEO Michael Huff during a ceremony in Kansas City, Mo.

Huff said he considers the award as the crowning achievement of his career.

“For me, professionally and personally, it is an honor,” Huff said. “There are very, very good hospital CEOs in this country that never receive an award like this. It is the crowning achievement of my career, no doubt about it. When I went to Kansas City to pick the award up virtually every hospital, and there were 60 because there were 20 in each category, felt very humble. They were excited to be recognized.”

Earlier this year, the hospital was selected as one of the top 100 critical access hospitals by iVantage Health Analytics. iVantage based its selections on surveys from all 1,330 critical access hospitals in the US measuring: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, population risk, cost, charge, quality, outcomes,patient perspectives and financial stability. From there, the National Rural Health Association whittled down the top 100 hospitals down to 60 and recognized them in three categories: quality, overall performance and patient satisfaction. Huff believes the hospitals unwavering stance on its high standards is what led to it receiving the quality award.

“You set your quality bar where you want it and make sure everyone understands the quality bar and they buy into it. You don’t accept anything less than what you set your standards for,” Huff said.

Although Huff takes great pride in receiving the quality award, he said the recognition is a reflection of the efforts of the staff and governing board of the Olney Hamilton Hospital District. 

“I think it speaks volumes about the staff of this hospital,” Huff said. “We’ve been blessed to have such a competent and caring staff. We spend a great deal of time in mentoring, education and working with the staff so that we provide the tools, equipment and whatever else they need to be successful. We work together as a team and refer to each other as a family. The staff picks up on that and they buy into it. This is their extended family.”