The customer service offered at the Black River Hospital, St. Elizabeth, has come in for high praise by visitors to the facility.
The hospital’s vision statement, to “provide the highest standard of health care, delivered by highly trained staff, which exceeds the expectation of customers, while maintaining a clean and safe environment’, has made residents of the parish happy.
“In February last year, my husband became ill one night. We rushed him to the Black River Hospital. He was admitted there for over four months, and the service was exceptional. Even after he was out we had to take him back there periodically, and the service was the same,” states Mrs. Evan Chen-Lyn.
“The truth is I didn’t know that we had such doctors and nurses in
Staff of the Accident and Emergency Department of the Black River Hospital pose for the camera. They have come in for high commendations for their customer friendly attitude.
St. Elizabeth, and I would recommend them to anyone. I don’t know that there can be a better service, anywhere,” she adds.
At a recent monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Mayor of Black River, Councillor Jeremy Palmer, commended the hospital’s staff for their “humane and prompt” responses.
“On several occasions I have visited there, unannounced, to deal with relatives and persons who I know had been admitted and, I must say that, each time I am overwhelmed by the level of care that they give to patients,” the Mayor told the meeting.
An elderly woman (left) is attended to by Dr. Kirk Moses (right), who is stationed at the Accident and Emergency Department at the Black River Hospital. Department Nurse, Hazel Henry (second left), assists with the process, while Patients’ Affair Officer, Cheryl Anderson (third left) looks on.
Calling on his fellow Councillors to give support to the facility, Mr. Palmer noted the need to participate in encouraging the health care workers to continue on the path that they are on.
“It is the only hospital in the parish, and what I have witnessed there speaks well for the facility,” he stated.
Councillor for the Siloah Division, Mr. Audie Myers, says he too is impressed with the running of the hospital.
“I have seen what the Mayor spoke about at the Black River Hospital. The workers there, I would say, are a special set of persons who are motivated in what they do,” he observes.
Patients’ Affair Officer at the hospital, Mrs. Cheryl Anderson, routinely introduces herself to visitors and patients, as she tries to ensure that they get satisfaction.
“I put myself in the position of others, and I tell my co-workers that if my parents should go to a hospital, I would want them to get the best care. So I treat my patients like my mother and father,” she shares with JIS News.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Ms. Diana Brown, says that customers’ satisfaction comes from teamwork, and the ongoing customer service training for staff members.
“We have learnt to work with and offer the best care, with the little that we have, we seek as much as possible, to be customer focus. Our customers are central to our work and, at all times, they must leave feeling that this institution is a place of care and professionalism,” the CEO says.
Persons involved in the marketing of tourism have put forward the idea of the hospital offering private health care to the growing South Coast hospitality trade.
“There was a private ward there, and if a group of entrepreneurs could finance a private wing, look at the scenery and the charming staff; it would take off,” states President of the Friends of the Black River Hospital, Ms. Eleanor Evans.
Ms. Brown says the organisation has provided valuable support, including a recent $2 million refurbishing of the male ward.
“They are quite a supportive group, and I am proud of my friends – they are involved in making our customers at ease when they come here, and they offer gifts that are meaningful to us,” she informs.
“We felt that we could make a difference at the Black River Hospital, and the community of St. Elizabeth. When we see a need, we go ahead and try to meet it, that is how we operate,” says Ms. Evans.
The site of the hospital was in the 18th century used as an auction ground for slaves. In the early 19th century, the Royal British Army built barracks to house their men there. In 1856, the premises became the first site for Munro College.
The hospital is a Type C facility, which operates under the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), and meets the health care needs of persons in St. Elizabeth and neighbouring parishes of St. James, Manchester and Westmoreland. It has 97 beds for a little less than 5,000 inpatients, and over 30,000 outpatients, to its services each year.
It offers a 24-hour emergency department and recently, under the National Health Fund (NHF), was upgraded by a $29 million grant and equipped through a further $22 million grant from the NHF.